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Memet Emin
29-12-07, 14:31

1. Dropping out of school

"Dropping out of school due to financial problems."
This is a common difficulty, experienced by most
children in the research. Various reasons may lead
to poverty. The children’s research found that drug
use, HIV infection, parent’s divorce, loss of one or
both parents and serious diseases, including AIDS,
of family members are the factors that lead to
family poverty. These factors also interact with
each other.

Among the children interviewed, 22 had a family
member who is taking drugs or infected with HIV.
The principal drug abusers were their fathers. "In
the past we led a happy life. But my Dad was later
addicted to drugs and died of AIDS, and we come
down in the world. (My Mum sold our home in
order to save my Dad, and we were in abject
poverty. I work as a shoe-boy to make living.)"
"My dad used drugs and my Mum divorced him, I
now live in my granny’s and earn money by shoe
shining." Seven children have mothers who
divorced their drug using husband. Four children
do not have fathers because of deaths due to drug
abuse: one of these deaths was later confirmed to
be drug-related AIDS (another father was
suspected as an AIDS patient).

Children’s view was that among family problems it
is a father’s drug abuse that does most harm to
children, and has the greatest impact on children.
Father’s drug abuse often leads to family bickering,
divorce, infection of their spouse and subsequent
AIDS (via sexual transmission), and death due to
AIDS. This was evidenced throughout the project,
in the issues children raised, their perception of
children in difficulties and their research findings.
Children see the mother and children as usually
being direct victims of father’s drug use, mother
possibly becoming an AIDS patient and children
becoming AIDS orphans.

Also, at Haitian Street, children noted that there
were many young men who could not find jobs and
so were laughed by others, deprived of self-esteem
and were lost in depression. They are vulnerable to
drug use. Someday in the near future they will
become husbands and fathers, and if they cannot
be helped to find and live a good life there will be
another family that will be affected by HIV/AIDS
through drugs.

Apart from nineteen children with divorced parents,
seventeen are orphans whose parents died in their
early childhood. Divorce and bereavement leave
children in abject poverty, and they had to try to
earn money for the family. An 11-year-old boy who
lived with his mother and two sisters said: "Dad has
passed away and we can not live a happy life as
before." An 11-year-old boy who is still in school
due to funding from the government said: "my
parents are divorced, my Mum works in a
restaurant, I want to be a driver. I buy exercise
books with money that I earn from selling cool tea.
It was a great shock for me when my parents

Ill-health and diseases of family members often
lead to poverty. A 13-year-old boy who had
dropped out of school said: "my Dad suffered from
pneumonia and we sold our farm to treat his
diseases. But it proved futile and he died." A 13-
year-old boy said: "my Dad was severely diseased
and my Mum borrowed a lot of money to save him.
Being unable to pay my tuition, I left school." The
attitude of their teacher towards children is also a
major factor influencing children's school

2. Mental torment: psychological and emotional pain

Difficulties not only include material shortage;
mental torment and mental health problems also
matter much, and these may be even harder to
endure. "When I ran back home I found Mum had
died, and I cried." "They were distressed for their
drug abuser father. They cried and begged father
to quit. Now that their father has returned to the
right way, they are happy despite their poverty.

The girls said that they are happy although they are
poor, as long as they are free from anxiety."

Children saw that parents’ relationships, behaviours
and luck have a particular impact on children.
Parents' drug use (or HIV infection), divorce,
serious disease or accidents ("Father died in a car
accident. Mother brought us up.") not only
impoverish their families, but also leave their traces
in the heart of children. "They [the children
interviewed] are distressed for their abuser father."
A boy mentioned the passing away of his father: "I
was depressed then and my enthusiasm for
learning waned, I even was reluctant to go to class.
Later, I dropped out school to relieve my family
from financial crisis. From then on I experience the
hardship of life. Now whenever I think of my past
dreaming for a good future, my heart bleeds."
Quarrels between parents prior to divorce also
deeply distress children. Discrimination as a result
of drug use or HIV infection of family members
aggravates the already existing emotional pains of

3. Stigma and discrimination

Children found that the attitudes and behaviours of
other people will usually significantly influence
children’s self respect, attitudes, behaviours and
self-identification, particularly when they are in
difficulties. Children in difficult situations are often
stigmatised or discriminated against for various
reasons. A 12-year-old boy who was arrested for
theft, said "discrimination and repulsion are the
most intolerable agony." He advised other children
to take note of his experiece: "do not be a baddy
like me; cherish time and do not play truant." The
interviewer noted that, "His friends laughed at him
saying he is an orphan abandoned by divorced

Drug use or HIV infection of family members is
cited as the top cause for discrimination or stigma.
An 8-year-old girl whose father was out of work
due to drug abuse said: "I will be sad if someone
says I am a daughter of a drug abuser. I do not
confide this fact even to my teacher." A boy
whose father died of drug abuse said that, "some
people swear at me that my Dad was a drug
abuser.” This is not a simple problem because of
the feelings children have for their parents, even
when they cause them unhappiness: it is a problem
of discrimination. As one child with a drug using
father said: "although my Dad uses drugs, I still
love him, because he is my dad." During the
survey review, children unanimously emphasised
that family poverty should not be a reason for

4. Lacking protection/being bullied

During the discussions, we once again saw that
children's difficulties are interrelated. Dropping out
of school not only undermines the future of children,
but also affects their present lives, leaving them in
`mental torment’, and possibly facing discrimination
and being bullied. "I left school due to financial
embarrassment. Some look down me because I am
poor. I was once abused by some adults."
Children who dropped out of school to work and
earn money for their poor families may be bullied at
their work. A stepmother/stepfather frequently
does not treat the two sets of children with an
equal hand. Pupils getting a poor score or who are
unable to pay tuition may be laughed at by
teachers or be physically punished. Children asked,
who can protect them?

An 8-year-old boy dropped out of school due to
financial problems. "This boy runs a tea stall on a
street earning six renminbi each day. The boy gave
all the money to her mother helping her making
living. Sometimes some adults drank his tea but
refused to pay him. The boy came to his mother
and could not stop crying although his mother tried
her best to soothe him." Another boy, also working
said: "Some people do not pay me but beat me,
while some people help me."

A girl who lives with her stepfather said: "I am not
spoiled by my stepfather, he does not pay my
tuition. He only offers money to children of his set
[his own biological children], he beats me and
curses me, my Mum is helpless witnessing this." A
boy told an interviewer about his stepmother: "she
made me sleep on floor and I only had charred flat
cake to eat and bad clothes to wear. So I could not
tolerate this and become a street child. Sometimes
when I was hungry, back home flashed in my mind,
but I decided not to return for preventing myself
from seeing her."

A 13-year-old child who dropped out of school said:
"five children of my family discontinued their
education because of poverty. Even worse, the
teachers were so cruel, they instructed us to stand
with bricks in hand and beat us." A 12-year-old
boy who is still in school said: "before I could pay
off tuition, my teacher drove me out of classroom
several times." "The teachers beat my mouth until
it bleed for my small wrongdoings and my granny
cried seeing this." "I was originally interested in
learning, but I left school because of being
physically punished."

Some children were taken in or supported by
relatives, particularly grandparents. The
government provided an allowance for some
children, and some other local people also offered
help, both material but also simply consolation and
similar support that was highly valued. "I miss my
original family. When I was about two, my parents
divorced and I lived in my grandpa’s. My grandpa
and granny treated me kindly but I still miss my
original family where my parents cared for me, I
hate and miss them. I mull over my misfortune, is
it acceptable for parents bearing me and then
abandoning me? I am 15 years old now and my
grandpa and granny are too old to sustain me. Will
my grandpa and granny look after me long enough
and provide tuition for me, how should I do if they
die? I want to get a warm family where parent love

Other local people offering help for the children,
included friends (other children), teachers, and
some adults. For example, children cited a local
woman who, although she herself is not rich,
managed to help children continue their education
and, as they said, "This moved us deeply." Also,
"Relatives and neighbours help to relieve us from
difficulties". "When he is denied payment for
shoeshine, friends come and console him."
"Originally I wanted to drop out of school and go to
the street to earn money. My teacher came to my
home and talked me out of that idea. She helped
me to get social security aid from the government
and now I am offered 180 renminbi a month and I
lived a better life from then on." "Now I stay home
to look after my diseased mother. We are lucky
enough to get social security aid from the
government, which helps us survive."

Nevertheless, children found that help is not yet
adequate or appropriate. "Although the social
security aid helps us to survive, we still lack money
for tuition." “There is a family with seven members
including the mother and six children. The father
abandoned the family. The government, however,
only granted subsidy for the two boys.” "He
continued education under financial help from the
Street Office, and his school offered him free
education. What annoyed him was that the school
took back books that were promised free, which
deeply weakened his aspiration for being
educated." "My granny refused to receive a new
house offered by the government, because she
wanted a house located other than the place she
lives now. She hates it because it ruined the life of
her son. They are in extreme poverty."

Children also suggested that the government
should clarify while distributing subsidies for
minimum living allowance [social security] that the
money is for the family as a whole, not just for a
certain family member. Children found that some
people use the money for themselves, for example,
the husband receives the money and thinks he will
use it himself and does not see it as being for the
benefit of the whole family.

(From Listen, Secrets!: Issues and Research by Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Xinjiang and Yunnan, China)

Memet Emin
29-12-07, 14:36

Children raised problems and concerns through
drawings, group discussions and compositions.
They later categorised the problems in whole group
discussion. Some fierce disputes occurred over the
classification of some problems. When no
agreement could be reached, these issues were
kept separate. Although the topics are clearly
linked the children provided their own perceptions
and explanations. At this stage the children were
interested in a myriad of things ranging from
domestic issues, such as `the disease of my sister’,
to the magnitude of `development of the
nationality and the nation’. Such range of issues
reflects the perceptions of children of the world,
and provided the scope from which issues where
subsequently prioritised for the basis of interview
schedules. Through this process the adults could
feel gaps in perceptions between children and
adults about some issues. The following list of
issues and problems that most concerned the
children is not ranked.


Children picked out this topic from concrete events,
such as "I hope my elder brother can be discharged
from hospital as early as possible." "I hope my
parents get rehabilitated as early as possible." In
addition to concern for the health of their intimate
family members (parents, grandma and grandpa,
and siblings), children were also concerned about
the health of their relatives, and of their teachers,
which suggests the importance not only of close
family, but other relatives and teachers in children’s

The children were also concerned about disabled
children, believing that disability may hamper their
happiness. At the same time, the children looked
to their own health. The discussions around health
perhaps indicate how much disease has `cast
shadow into the heart’ of children.


Children highlighted that family means more than
some people living in one house. Family means
harmony, integrity and warmth. Children wanted to
have "a family full of harmony" "a warm family"
"growing up in a warm family" "psychological
support from parents." They also talked about
problems that undermine the integrity and warmth
of a family, including "divorce" "bereavement of
parents" and "sick parents". In addition, issues
concerning parent-child relationships were noted,
such as having "respecting and caring parents",
"being a filial child”, and that "parents should try
best to improve their children’s social position".
Parents’ attitude towards children affects their
`place in heart of children’. Issues regarding
income were not included in this topic, although the
association of income and access to education were
discussed. At the feedback stage, some children
linked health and family with the chances of being
educated, for example that parents with disease
were more prone to fail to offer economic resources
to support their children’s education.

AIDS/Incurable Diseases and drugs
Although this project and research was not named
or indicated as `Care for children affected by
HIV/AIDS’, some children expressed their worry
about HIV infection in the workshop. Some
children referred to AIDS in terms such as `the
Incurable Disease’, preferring not to say and use
AIDS (probably for reasons of
stigma/discrimination). Some told adult
participants that most incurable diseases were AIDS.
Some children drew skeletons and withered leaves
on the canvas to express drugs and AIDS.
Some children described the aftermath of AIDS or
`Incurable Diseases’ as "family member died of
incurable diseases" and "I am orphaned". Some
children pointed out the relationship between drugs
and AIDS: "drugs cause infection of AIDS", "uproot
drugs and sweep away AIDS". Some children were
apprehensive about the prevalence of drugs and
AIDS: "we can see needles on the way home",
"drugs may spread all over the world", "the spread
of AIDS may bring about disaster to children", and
they hoped that "AIDS would be swept away AIDS
and prevent children from being orphaned".


Education issues include the possibility of
continuing with education (not dropping out of
school), scores (failing to pass exams, scores
dropping down) and whether children would be
able to be admitted to a school with better facilities
and teachers. Complaints raised included "big
pressure from learning, too much homework, being
unable to develop other skills", "parents only play
up scores" [are only interested in scores]. All of
these issues were associated with the future of the
children, for example "If I cannot be admitted by a
good school, I can not fulfil my wish." In addition,
teachers’ attitudes towards students affect
students’ ambition for knowledge, for example:
"some teachers do not treat students with an equal
hand [equally], and some students lose heart."
Education issues often involve household economics,
for example: "being unable to be educated in
school for higher learning due to poor score or bad
financial support". But some issues were due to
parents’ toward to education: "although some
parents can afford tuition, they are reluctant to pay
it. Instead, they ask their children to do physical
labour as adults, and they fail to take their
responsibilities." However, some children left
school in order to look after family members who
were sick with HIV/AIDS.


Issues regarding future involve more questioning.
"What sort of person will I be in the future", "Will I
become a baddy [bad person]", "Will I get success".
Some concrete problems were associated with
issues regarding future, such as "Will I be
employed", "Being unable to look after my
parents." As noted above, the future was also
associated with "whether or not children would be
admitted by a good school". Some children worry
about being unable to achieve their goals.

A `baddy’ is someone who does not go to school,
has no knowledge and so does not know how to
resolve a problem, and when facing a problem
cannot use the power of knowledge. They will not
get a good job and may be affected by a bad
person and do something that is not good. In
children’s eyes a lot of bad people have no
knowledge, no chances to get to school and no idea
what is right and wrong, and sometimes do things
according to feelings and passions and do not
consider the result of their behaviour.

Self-esteem and respect for others

This issue has a close tie with others regarding
schools, teacher and classmates because of the
perception and links that self-esteem resides in
relationships such as teacher-student and studentstudent.
Children worried about "being criticised by
teachers in front of classmates"; "being looked
down upon by teachers and classmates"; "losing
face before others; others will look down upon me
and do not respect me". On the other hand, they
indicated they should "show respect for teachers
and classmates"; and "get along well with others".
Children recognised that school life and learning will
influence children’s self-esteem and their future. A
friendly environment for learning, and especially
teacher’s method and attitude toward students,
may have great impact on development of children.

Some children were concerned also about the links
between self-esteem and showing respect for
others and expressed feelings such as: "many
people do not perform according to requirements
for self-esteem", "moral virtue is decaying, such as
respecting the elderly and parents".
Development of the nationality/country
This issue covered a range of concerns about the
development of minority nationalities (or
ethnicities), their relationship to the country and
the development of the nation. Children raised a
number of points and concerns, such as the "selfesteem
of the nationality", "development of the
nationality", "phasing out of Uyghur language",
"minority nationalities and majority nationalities
should join hands like friends", "respect for cultures
of other nationalities, and mutual help",
"development of the nation”. They express wishes
to "devote myself to motherland", and "whether I
will be useful to my motherland."

Other concerns

A number of other issues were raised, and were not
included in the categories developed above. These
issues included: vulnerability, unemployment and
trafficking; personal loss; and the environment. For
example, "Being trafficked by bad guys", "Cannot
achieve what I want to achieve, and lose the
persons I love", "Degradation of the world due to
superstition", "Live and study in a clean
environment" and clean living environment",
"Development of education", "All youths, including
those ex-drug users, can find a job", "Help
vulnerable groups".

(From Listen, Secrets!: Issues and Research by Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Xinjiang and Yunnan, China)

Memet Emin
29-12-07, 15:01

Children discussed and then listed six categories of
`children in difficulties’; but each category may
interlink and contain several groups of children in
different living environments.

1. Children without care from father/mother

In the eyes of children, all children whose parent (s)
divorced or have died satisfy the meaning of
`children in difficulties’. The children of divorced
parents are also deemed to be orphans in that they
are deprived of love of parents. This designation
was the outcome of a dispute over "whether or not
children whose parents divorced are orphans."
Those who agreed they are believed that divorce
leaves children without care from parent(s), some
of them having to live with relatives, thus
mimicking situation that orphans meet. Without
guidance of adults, they cannot find a way out by
themselves when they get into difficulties, and they
are prone to be trapped by bad practices.

In addition, children noted that the children of
migrants are also vulnerable. They said that
children with parents by their side usually enjoy
preferential financial support, and so children
whose parents are not with them because of
seeking jobs in other cities are also children in

Children also raised the issue that children abused
by parents live in deep sorrow. This, which also
reflects their recognition and experience of the
importance of care and support from parents,
implies that abused children should also be in this
category alongside orphans, along with the children
of migrants and of divorced parents. The key to
the classification is being without care.

2. Children dropping out of school

Children dropping out of school and children who
are illiterate do not have much hope for their future
and they will often turn to become street children.
In the case of them encountering difficulties, they
will not be able to resort to knowledge or guidance
acquired but will be left stranded.

During the research review workshop, some
children highlighted that dropping out of school
should be attributed to the loss of support to
continue education, and not to children’s
intelligence. They noted that some children
demonstrated skills for making a living even though
they were unable to receive education.

3. Disabled children

Whether disability results from congenital or
acquired diseases or accidents, disabled children
may be trapped by all kinds of difficulties. Physical
disabilities can deter the children from doing
something. Although some children would like to
help them, they may be laughed at.

4. Homeless children

Children who are homeless are especially prone to
be induced to conduct wrongdoings, and vulnerable
to smoking or drug addiction. Some addicted
children cannot afford drugs and they become
desperate to find money. Some have to carry
drugs for adults and eventually become addicted.
Thus, child drug-abusers and children in conflict
with the law are linked with this category, as are
some working children.

The children did not deem all homeless children as
vulnerable although they were not in school. Some
work on the street and are very able, making some
money for their families. But some of these `street
children’ are seen to be rude and rash, without
considering consequences of their actions; a few
homeless children bullied other children who are in

5. Child Victims

This category includes children who suffered from
natural disaster, traffic accidents, poisons, parental
drug abuse, and children who are infected by HIV
via ‘innocent’ ways. They felt that when they grow
up these children may mull over being affected by
chance and the incident or problem that made
them a victim: for example, "why am I an HIV
victim?" and some of them may do bad things due
to over big mental pressure.

6. Children living in poverty

Children living in poverty may succumb to disease
and death being unable to afford to treatment.

(From Listen, Secrets!: Issues and Research by Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Xinjiang and Yunnan, China)

29-12-07, 15:55
Bu maqlining esli menbesini bu yerge yezip qoughan bolsingiz. Rehmet.

Memet Emin
29-12-07, 17:16
Title: Listen, secrets! Issues and research by children affected by HIV / AIDS in Xinjiang and Yunnan, China.

Author: Chen Q; West A

Source: Beijing, China, Save the Children, 2006 Mar. 49 p.


Abstract: This report, Listen, secrets is a report on children's research in two locations in China that are heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. Yining City, is in Yili Prefecture, Xinjiang in north-west China bordering countries of central Asia. Yingjiang County is in Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan Province in southern China bordering countries of south-east Asia. High HIV-prevalence in both areas stems from intravenous drug use, and their proximity to drug production areas in the `Golden Crescent' and the `Golden Triangle'. These circumstances have tended to result in a focus on issues related to adults, with less attention paid to children hence this research. But children are not a single, stereotypical group, and their circumstances, ideas and issues vary by location as well as age, gender and other aspects of human diversity. This report from children's research focuses on the main concerns of children in these areas, their definitions of children in difficulties, their difficulties and expectations, and particularly, the impact of HIV/AIDS upon children. (excerpt)

30-12-07, 08:57
Definitly is a sad stuation for anybody. glad you post it!