Care for orphans

Muna Al Fuzai
Muna Al Fuzai

From the early ’60s, Kuwait has presented humanitarian support and care for orphans, including those of unknown parentage and children who have no relatives. Both were housed at the orphanage, where they lived and studied until they got married. Sometimes, in cases of divorce, they returned to the orphanage, because it is the only place they know and in which they grew up.

These people face difficulties and problems in their lives due to government decisions and the culture of the community that looks at them with suspicion and distrust, as if they are a burden on the society! This is not fair, but it is the truth. Recently, the ministry of social affairs and labor took a decision to evict all those who reach the age of 21 from the orphanage. This surprise decision left them wondering where to go and what to do. They are on the street, so what’s the solution?

The citizens who were once housed at the orphanage are calling for a solution to their problem. They are demanding housing after their allowances were stopped and they were evicted due to this decision. It is unfortunate that this problem has not caught the attention of many, because advocates of this unjust law are arguing that those who have reached the age of 21 must be able to work and earn money.

These people don’t want to see the reality in Kuwait or are only trying to justify a government error. My son is a 21-year-old Kuwaiti citizen, but is unable to work because he is still a student. All his attempts to work after school in the evening failed and he was rejected because it is not permissible for students to combine work and study. So even a 21-year-old is forced to live under his parents’ roof. The decision to ban the combination of work and study was also issued by the ministry of social affairs.

The problem in Kuwait is of those who make blind decisions against the public or a group of people without a fair study. I feel sorry for these young people who have been evicted from the orphanage. What are they supposed to do in a small country with many unemployed citizens and a majority of Arab and Asian expatriates who are mostly doing menial jobs? This is not the West, where laws support students and unemployed or homeless people.

If we assume that these evictees are not currently studying, the problem still exists for them as a societal one because of the culture of the community. I see them again paying the price of others’ sins and mistakes. Evicting them from the orphanage must be accompanied with an opportunity to work, and not leaving them on the street as easy prey for drug dealers and criminals, even though the state has granted them Kuwaiti citizenship. It is essential to reconsider this decision and give them jobs. The orphanage is the only home they know, and we should not prevent them from living there.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
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