Monday, November 30, 2009

What Happens To Them?

Went to watch Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey in it wif my movie kaki - Michelle. Verdict? Somewhat, though not totally, lame. Humour misplaced. Somehow Jim Carrey has to add these little quirks to make things 'funny' but after a while, they just get annoying.

One part of the movie was really good though. You know that, in the story that Charles Dickens wrote, the Ghost of Christmas Present pulls aside his robe, and concealed in his robes are two wretched children, so disfigured by misery and suffering that they hardly look human? The boy is called 'Ignorance' and the girl is called 'Want'?

In this Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, the boy 'Ignorance' spins round and becomes an adult man coming at him with a knife (meant to personify a criminal) and roars, "Are there no prisons?" mockingly towards Scrooge before prison bars fall around him, caging him in.

And the girl 'Want' spins round and becomes an adult woman dressed provocatively (meant to peronify a prostitute) and she also mockingly jeers, "Are there no workhouses?" before laughing hysterically, and wound in a straitjacket, ends up in a mental institution.

That really caught my attention. It brought to my memory something which I had read before. Remember the shelter that I visited in Cambodia for child prostitutes? Well, the lady who started the centre called AFESIP said that, sometimes, by the time they rescue the children, the children have lost their minds because of the torment and torture they've gone through. The children can be 8, 9, 10 years old by the time they're rescued, but they'd already spent a few years being raped repeatedly day after day, and by the time they came in to the shelter, they didn't make sense.

All the children could do was give sweet, but empty smiles. When they talk, the words don't add up. They've lost all reason. Truly, what Jim Carrey personified, is what is in their future when they're too old to be taken care of in this shelter, which after all, is only to rehabilitate child prostitutes until they are old enough to work.

As for what the movie showed happening to the boy - well, today I was reading this article :- http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=2&aid=173876

It's about kids who have 'aged-out' of the foster care system. At 18 years old, the Government assumes these kids are 'adults' and they are no longer taken care of as foster kids. What happens to them then? Shockingly, the report said, in America, within 2 years of ageing out of the system, 25% end up in prison. 20% end up homeless.

Are you surprised? Shocked? Why should you be? Our kids in Malaysia still stay at home with Mummy and Daddy at 18 years old and receive allowances. These are kids who don't have any foundation of love, nurturing and support thrown out onto the streets at 18 to start their adult lives and expected to live them right.

Still so many kids on this road of hopelessness... what can we do to make a difference? And do we even care?

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