Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Driving through the city our airconditioned car stopped at a traffic signal. We were immediately surrounded by almost naked children, ranging from 2 to about 10 years old, pressing their noses against the car windows, asking for money.

Tara looked scared, but fell silent. Later she asked me who the children were, why they had no clothes on, and why did they not stay at home with their mummies and daddies. After a failed attempt at explaining that they were poor children, I had a further volley of questions, ranging from what does poor mean, why don't grown ups look after the children etc. etc.

What is poor? Isn't it perceived differently, by different people, in different countries? Loaded questions. I can't understand the situation myself, how can I explain it to a 4 year old.

What defines poor?

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