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I was just going to bed when I saw this piece of news on a local TV channel. In brief, it was telling about an orphanage for mentally challenged children where the teachers bully and torture their pupils.
They showed the video where three boys and a former orphanage employee were telling about the brutalities within the walls of the institution. According to them, the teachers of the orphanage were abusing physical and social vulnerability of the children and raising their self-esteem while humiliating those in their care. One of the boys even showed a scar on his cheek from a hot iron.
Certainly, the children tried to tell about the atrocities, even to the police, but their words were not taken seriously. Who will believe those who are mentally challenged? Or, to be more specific, who will want to believe them?
On the video, made by the journalists, the teachers, undoubtedly, claim not to have touched anyone, and say that the kids are lying. I have no right to accuse them before their guilt is proven. For there is a chance that they really hurt nobody (miracles do happen).
However the investigation of this incident will end, I think, we ought to look at the whole problem in general. This is not the first case when social workers abuse their position and bully those they are supposed to protect. About once a year newsmen tell us about outrageous violations in the orphanages and boarding schools.
How can we be sure that beatings and abuse do not take place in every single Ukrainian institution for children deprived of parental support? Even I, a child from a full non-needy family, have several times met teachers who found their purpose of life in hurting others. Some of them were caregivers in the kindergarten, some were teachers at school. And what about those children who have nobody to stand out for them?
As a child I went to a summer camp where were taken to a tent town for a couple of nights, to get closer to nature. Our neighbors there were orphans, brought there by some governmental program. At first we did not get along with them, but later, when we did, they told us something about their life.
They told us that they were beaten often, for fun. That girls were made to do you know what with some strange people. So the camp was for them first and foremost a rest from their teachers and beatings, and only after that – nature and talks by the fire. I have no reasons to misbelieve them.
American statistics tells that medical and educational spheres often attract sadists. They like the impunity which goes with the ability to inflict pain. I think the same goes on in Ukraine. From time to time we hear about the cases of unprecedented violence against the defenseless ones. And how many cases remain undiscovered?
I do not know if anybody with the power to change the way of things will ever read this article. But if he does, maybe what country needs is a major inspection of the institutions where people cannot protect themselves? Or at least provide all orphanages with web cameras, for their presence will improve the situation. Research shows that even the presence of mannequins in a store reduce the level of shoplifting (people are uncomfortable because they are being “watched”). And web cameras with free access through the internet will restrain potential sadists.
Why is it important to take care of orphanages and asylums?
It is necessary to secure suitable life conditions for orphans not only for their sake, but for the sake of the society in general.
See for yourself. Initially people are born neutral (if not good-natured), and 90% of their future life depends on their upbringing and life conditions. Basically these are the factors that turn merry children into hateful adults capable of crimes.
Today there are hundreds of thousands of children in different orphanages. And today they all are potential criminals, because we don’t know who is taking care of them. Angry teachers will raise angry people. I tell this to US, because WE are the ones who will have to live in a society with them.
By securing healthy life conditions and control over such institutions we are securing a healthy society and saving hundreds of lives.
That is why I think it necessary to conduct a major inspection of all the orphanages, to investigate all the violence cases, and to set web cameras to provide control of the situation. Thus we will save many lives, literally and figuratively, and make Ukraine a little bit better place to live in.