International (MNN) — While 5-year-olds in developed nations are learning to read and tie their own shoes, there are millions of kids throughout the world who are trying to figure out how to get some food for the day or a warm, dry place to sleep for the night.
These street children are vulnerable and incapable of most of the tasks that an adult performs to maintain life.
An estimated 100 million children are living on the streets worldwide, according to Compassion International. They are vulnerable to exploitation, and they are hard to protect. Many of them are forced to beg or steal in order to survive.
Street children find themselves without a home due to poverty, war, abuse or other family issues, according to Compassion. They have neither education, nor healthcare.
The World Health Organization puts street children into three categories:
1) A child “of the streets.” These children have been abandoned by their family or are orphans with no surviving family members. They are solely responsible for their own survival. They have to find shelter and food however they can.
2) A child “on the street.” These children have family and are in regular contact with them. Many of them spend their days on the streets in order to escape abuse or because of overcrowding in their home. In some instances, a child “on the street” is responsible for bringing in additional income for the family.
3) A child of a street family. These children live on the streets with their families. Usually these families have come up against a tragedy or hardship like war, natural disaster, or simply unemployment.
Street children may have no parents here to look after them, but they are precious in the eyes of the Father and deserve to feel safe, valued, and loved. They deserve to have their basic needs met and to have the opportunity to receive an education so they have the hope of a more sustainable future.
Would you join us in praying for these children?
Compassion’s teams are giving street children a place where they’re loved, protected, and given hope for a better future. It’s making a difference, and here’s how you can help.