Begging - to give or not to give? That is the dilemma
Tsen-Waye Tay last edited by
Cute kids, scrappy kids, scruffy kids, mothers holding crying, malnourished babies, children with disabilities ...do we, should we, must we, give them money? What if they're persistent? What harm could do this if we did, and if we didn't? What alternatives are there? How can we still help them, but not encourage the practice, which in many cities in Asia are run by syndicates exploiting, abusing and even trafficking children?
I used to work in a global charity that organised many overseas visits for child sponsors to visit their kids in developing countries, where there are many children begging on the streets. They'd knock on our car doors while we were stuck in traffic in Phnom Penh, and try to sell souvenirs, newspapers, water... Our stance has always been to not buy or give cash, because there are syndicates running these 'businesses' and they profit from these kids. So to give them money is to encourage these syndicates to continue leeching off these children. An alternative would be to donate to a legit charity working in that region/ area, that can work to solve these economic and social issues long-term. Of course, that'd take time, but it's worth the investment.