Charity Begins at Home

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You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to help a fella

I was digging around in a drawer the other day, when I came across an old article from the Sunday Times. It had the emotive title, ‘Stars’ backing ‘cannot save’ kids’ charity’. It was a small piece about Kids Company, the worthy initiative founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996, which provided in her words ‘practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children, young people and families.’ We know now that this wonderful and vital charity sadly closed on the 5th August 2015. We also know now that as a result, ‘children and families will be left without services in situations of sexual, psychological or emotional abuse, neglect and malnutrition and family homelessness and further destitution.’

Kids Company extended their services to some 36,000 vulnerable children across London, Bristol and Liverpool, including the most deprived and at risk. These typically encompassed children with fathers and mothers who were far too ill equipped for their parental roles, often suffering from their own personal demons. These children were and are exposed to a tapestry of violence, prostitution, drugs, abuse and gang culture. The threats they faced and continue to face literally surround them, extending from inside the home to the environment that surrounds it. Kids Company provided a semblance of normality for these children, a place where they might experience interludes of what it is like to be in a safe and caring environment. They tapped into and nurtured the potential of these young lives and hoped to end the cycle of trauma. It is heart breaking that the thing these kids needed and managed to attain in some manner with this charity – a substitute good enough parent, a safe space and loving family – they have now lost… again.

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