Headline July 01, 2016/ ''' THE ANGELS OF POVERTY '''


BEIRUT : OVER  2.8 MILLION STUDENTS/CHILDREN  are out of schools in the region according to the  UNICEF.

Thirteen year old Ali Rajab is on his feet an average of 12 hours a day, cleaning, filling perfumed bottles, and helping sell mobile phones at the shop in Beirut where he works.

Ali Rajab has been working since he arrived in Lebanon two years ago after fleeing war in his Syrian hometown of Aleppo with his parents and six siblings.

And then some, like 15-year-old, [a student once], Mohammed Al Ashram, are forced to become breadwinners for their families

OVER 400,000  -YES! -OVER 400,000  students/children are still unable to attend schools because most of the Syrian are living outside camps-

Mostly in poverty, and are struggling to secure work that pays enough to cover the basic necessities of  food, clothing, rent and transportation, the aid group states.

AND until now,  Turkey, magnificently, has spent billions of dollars caring for the Syrian refugees, providing them with free medical care and the rights, every right to a  Free Education.

But Other factors preventing children/students  from attending school include language barriers,  confusion over enrollment procedures and transportation related issues, said Selin Unal, a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee program in Turkey.

The Turkish government introduced work permits for Syrians in January to help stop exploitation in the labor market so that parents could earn enough to send their children/students  to school.

But only  10,300  Syrians have gained the right to work under the new regulation, according to the Ministry of Labor, mainly because Turkish employers have been reluctant to grant contracts that would require them to pay minimum wages.

Turkish officials have acknowledged the pitfalls of the labor laws and have vowed to increase the number of work place inspections to help enforce the new regulations, which are aimed at providing higher incomes and cracking down on child labor.

Student Ahmed's mother, Mrs. Suleiman,  said she had not heard about the work permits, and had recently had to quit her job washing dishes at a restaurant after her boss beat her when she complained that her $90 weekly pay was a month late.

Most of student Ahmed's $60 weekly wages go towards the $270 rent for the narrow room where he lives with his mother and three siblings in Istanbul's low-income  Tarlabasi neighbourhood.

Six days a week, student Ahmad leaves home at 8.a.m. and walks to a nearby textile factory where he spends his days buttoning shirts as sewing machines rattle in the background.

He is given a 30 minute break at lunchtime and two 15 minute tea breaks with biscuits that he buys with his  80-cent daily allowance from his mother.

'' I enjoy working, and I don't get treated badly,'' Ahmad said, smiling at a Kurdish colleague helping him attach tags to a rail of shirts. 
''I've got to take care of my family, and that is the only way to do that.''
But in Syria, Ahmad's dream was to become a singer.

''I have a really good voice,'' he said blushing. ''I'm serious. I sing for my colleagues at work and they love it.

Yet when asked what his ideal job would be, Ahmad dropped his smile for a second:

''*I savior,'' he said. ''I want to save everyone from poverty, because I am poor and I don't want anyone to through what I've been through.*''
To achieve that goal, Ahmad said, he knows he needs to go back to school. ''It's the only way to make more money,'' he said.

The manager of the factory acknowledged that Ahmad was too young to be working and should be in school, but said he employed him not because Ahmad was cheap to hire, but because he wanted to help him.

Ahmad is the only child who works in the factory, but in the Zeytinburna neighbourhood, one of Istanbul's textile hubs, child labor is rampant. 

In one workshop full of children, one  11 year old was embarrassed by the authors presence. Aware that his manager was watching him, the boy looked away and focused on cutting fabric and folding clothes.
Next to him was a sewing machine operator, Abdul Rehman, 15, who said he had no idea how much he was paid because his wages went directly to his family. 

Two Syrian brothers, Basar, 16, and Mohammed Nour, 15, swept the floor of the workshop. They came to Turkey alone from Aleppo to make money and send back to their family.

Together they earn around $250 a month and send $200 back home. unable to afford accommodations, they are allowed to sleep under the workshop benches at the factory, in makeshift beds made from single blanket and fabric scraps.

Back at Tarlabasi, Ahmad's mother has come up with a plan that will allow her to send her two younger children to school. 

She will marry off her 15-year old daughter, Ayla, to a 22 year old Kurdish man, whose family has offered to send her to school and help the family financially.

''This way at least the two youngest can also go to school, while Ahmad and I work,'' she said.

When asked how she felt abut getting married, Ayla looked at her painted finger nails and paused. 
''It hasn't really hit me yet, but I'm not scared,'' she said. ''I'm happy, and I need to do this for the family.''

Mrs. Suleman shot an anxious look her daughter : ''She doesn't know anything yet. But what choice do we have?  It's our fate.'' 

The World Students Society, lovingly called !WOW! -is the only organisation totally owned by the students of the entire world. One share-peace-piece. 

!WOW!  prays for them and wishes them well.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! and !E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Rubicon '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!