I didn't expect this to be my first post for the year 2011, but after what I've read in today's Al Qabas newspaper, I couldn't help myself, not in the least! It's nothing to do with Politics, (for a change) although ti should! In fact, no one within the political circles of Kuwait, neither MP nor Minister nor even an under-secretary, ever mentioned this shameful and blasphemous misuse of power and funds that goes on right under Kuwait's Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs, and I'll also assume in collusion with it, since many things that are allegedly happening don't happen without official sanction.
To begin with; Underage sex, extra-marital sex, rape, drugs, smoking, prostitution, extortion, absconding, mixed dwellings, no age-group segregation, illegal visitations by the two sexes, group viewing of porn movies.....the list goes on, and if Al Qabas has any credibility, it's all happening right now, under the noses of those that the Ministry had authorized to manage these facilities.
The subject of harshness in Kuwait's orphanages is, itself, not new. I remember a few months back when Al Watan TV ran a documentary about a few orphans in the 'Taw El Leil' program and gave some insight into how they live and how they learn. But nothing has been done since then, and I can't remember any follow-up by the program, nor any responses from any prominent figures in Kuwait's Politics. Nothing until this Al Qabas article came up today.
The article also states that 'some steps' were taken to prevent these things from happening, like building a fence (!) between the dwellings of both sexes, and instigating some internal inquiries and so on, nothing mentioned about the psychological solutions that can prevent, or at least limit these things from happening in the first place.
What got me really concerned weren't the facts as much as the figures that came along with them;
|Taken from Al Qabas Newspaper, January 4th, 2011, p.13,p14|
In the first Hawalli orphanage, 66 employees are registered to cater to 14 orphans, while in the second Hawalli house, 25 employees are registered for the same number of orphans. The home in Salwa has 79 registered employees for 21 orphans. In total, there are 332 employees registered to oversee and cater for only 93 orphans, as far as this report is concerned, which means there are approximately 3.5 pairs of eyes to monitor every orphan, and still these things happen under their noses, which begs the question; How are they happening, not why!
I'm not concerned with 'Why', since adolescents will be adolescents, simple Biology and Hormones. It's the 'How' that's really the issue here. How are these things happening, in light of a very conservative society and a very rich and capable country with Billion-Dollar budget surpluses every year? How can this happen with Parliamentary oversight sniffing every inch of the Minister's back-side concerning issues related to his Ministry?
There has been no light shed on this matter simply because there are no political gains to be had from it, not for anyone. Furthermore, there is no professional responsibility among any of those responsible for those poor youngsters, thanks to a stellar higher educational system. One that supersedes financial gains over academic proficiency among the teachers and specialists that were entrusted with delivering their academic message accurately and to the best of their ability.
And if numbers could speak any louder, a ratio of 3.5 to 1 is just another example of the government's senseless and futile Employment Policy, where it's a 'right' for every citizen to have the Government secure him a job, totally defeating any hope for real competition at the workplace, and conversely destroying any need to pursue any academic excellence to begin with.
Some loudmouth MP's, known for being constantly on the prowl for delicious topics such as this to 'grill' the concerned Minister with, haven't ever brought this subject up, not even in passing. Yet, they pride themselves in their virtuous and honorable track record of being the defenders of the faith and society and it's rights and privileges. When they 'did' engross themselves with the activities and responsibilities of the Labor & Social Services Minister not too long ago, it wasn't because of his neglect towards the Orphanages, but because a multi-million KD project went south and they wanted big heads to roll, the bigger the better.
Children, orphans at that, with little or no security for their well-being and future are not as important to these loudmouth MP's as creating a fuss about removing illegally-build structures and New-Year parties and satisfying personal vendettas and fulfilling shady political agendas. Kuwait is being stripped of it's identity and it's honor while these people holler, bicker and moan about the government's inability to initiate it's Development plan.
In this issue, Allah's commandment to the world was not to subject an orphan to any harshness or oppression, so why didn't any of those so-called Islamic MP's raise this issue in Parliament when it first came to light in the 'Taw El Leil' program. Time will tell if this article is able to address any of their human feelings and do something to save these poor youngsters from destruction, if at all, but I'm not holding my breath on it.