Since the publication of my book I have been visiting schools to talk to the young people about my novel and the dreadful life of street children.
I enjoy these presentations enormously. In some case the students have undertaken project work on the Amazon jungle or looked at the ‘Rights of The Child’ as set out in the United Nations Convention of 1989. The pupils really enjoy hearing from someone who has actually been in the jungle, visited the slums and looked into the eyes of street children. I think it helps the young people to have a greater understanding of the issues.
I am always impressed by the children’s knowledge of the creatures of the jungle and issues such as deforestation, the destruction and pollution that comes from oil drilling or gold mining. The pupils are perhaps less clear on how the destruction of the forest can lead to migration of the indigenous population from their villages into the cities; sadly, as often as not, the villagers end up in the slums because of their lack of skills. The extreme poverty of the slum dweller can result in parents abandoning their children to the streets.
Using a very interactive session, I try to explain to the pupils what life for a street child is like. I am always impressed by their compassion and their sense of injustice.
Some of the classes have gone on to raise funds for street children’s charities, which is wonderful. Only the other day I heard of a school that had raised over £340 for street kids.
If any of my readers are teachers and they would like me to give a presentation to their class, please drop me an email.