Life of Teenagers Cared by the Govern­ment

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

For those teenagers who are not cared for, su­per­vised or raised by their own par­ents, there is a place called the Teenager's Unit in Er­bil. It is a gov­ern­men­tal foun­da­tion which takes care of teenagers whose par­ents are ei­ther dead or have sep­a­rated from each other. The place also re­ceives teenagers whose par­ents, for some rea­son, are un­able to bring them up them­selves.

Cur­rently there are 420 teenagers at the Unit, which was founded in 1979. Over 90 of them have not any fam­ily mem­bers. They are stay­ing at the Unit per­ma­nently. The rest are liv­ing there tem­po­rar­ily and reg­u­larly vis­ited by their fam­i­lies. Ac­cord­ing to Sheikh Za­ito Tofiq, Head of the So­cial Care Unit in Er­bil, those who are liv­ing at the Teenager's Unit have come from fam­i­lies that are suf­fer­ing from so­cial prob­lems. Some of them have lost their fa­ther while their mother re­mar­ried an­other per­son. In that case the chil­dren re­mained un­cared for. There are also some whose moth­ers are dead while the fa­ther mar­ried an­other lady who is not ready to take care of them. “Most of those who bring their teenager to the Unit have low ed­u­ca­tional level and suf­fer from dys­func­tional so­cial re­la­tions. They think if they bring their chil­dren to the Unit the govern­ment will meet all their needs. But this is wrong be­cause the chil­dren need their par­ents’ care, emo­tions, and sym­pa­thy,” said Tofiq.

Tofiq be­lieves that the teenagers feel alien­ated and find it dif­fi­cult to be suc­cess­ful if they lack their par­ent’s sup­port and care even if they have food and ac­com­mo­da­tions.

In or­der not to waste their time, the boys are given chances to par­tic­i­pate in many train­ing cour­ses at the Unit. Head of the Boys Sec­tion at Er­bil’s Teenagers Unit, Yousif Ab­dul­wahid, said: “We have var­i­ous train­ing cour­ses for the teens liv­ing here. The cour­ses in­clude swim­ming, draw­ing, mu­sic, and strength­en­ing cour­ses for the English, sewing, and hand­craft. They are free to choose any course they like to take part in.” When asked if the teens have any so­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems at the Unit, Ab­dul­wahid replied:"All the teens have their own sen­si­tive is­sues they grap­ple with in­ces­santly, even those liv­ing with their par­ents at home. But the most im­por­tant thing is that we don’t have young­sters who have se­ri­ous psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­der. Noth­ing of such has hap­pened here so far.” The teenagers are en­cour­aged to con­tinue their study. Some of them are hard-work­ing and very suc­cess­ful. They study at uni­ver­si­ties. “We have many young boys who have suc­cess­fully passed dif­fer­ent stages of study­ing. Some of them even fin­ished their univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion. This is thanks to the staff mem­bers who spare no ef­fort to help these am­bi­tious and de­ter­mined in­di­vid­u­als," con­cluded Ab­dul­wahid.

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