As in any society, in Iran, children are the most vulnerable members of society. It is the duty of a civil society to protect and nurture young life. Most societies do this through enforceable laws that are meant to set societal standards for the treatment of children, as well as provide enforcement measures when those societal standards are breached. These standards are usually conceived as “rights.” When a child’s rights are abrogated, they are considered vulnerable to additional poor outcomes and social predations. (Hekmat, Community of supporting the orphaned children, 2007)
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Contrary to the common definition of the word “orphan”, Iranian orphans and street children are often not without living parents. The parents of many street children are drug addicts. Others are jobless immigrants or refugees, and still others give birth to numerous children simply to exploit them for work. (Reza Shajiee, Factors of Cognitive levels of career success among Orphaned Students in Mashhad, 2009)
Definition of Orphan should be changed from not having parents or any guardian. We live in a world that children might be better off in the worst orphan housing than living at home. Parents working two shifts and even 3 shifts to survive are their children experiencing any care?! Talking about Iran not just those kids left without guardian and parents end up in the streets and being called orphans, but those who have proper parents they are asked to get out and leave school to help house expenses. (Reza Shajiee, Factors of Cognitive levels of career success among Orphaned Students in Mashhad, 2009)
Just recently a mother interviewed from the city of Irak (very industrial and well being city close to Tehran). She said they both (father and her) were working and good job as highly technical work in factory but they had to send their 12 years boy to Tehran to work. Other report from the chief police authority in Tehran said that any kid not just girls but boys as well after they end up to streets after 48 hours become sexually abused. The mother knew all about the situation and sound very educated women and the father had very highly technical job in one of famous factory in Iran. As I said Orphan definition has changed from Charles Dickens’ time. We are facing completely with different situation and needs different solution. (Dr.Abdollah Shafi Abadi, Career Guiding and Counseling, 2009)
The Situation of Orphaned Children in Iran and Their Career:
Street children live in abandoned buildings, containers, automobiles, parks, or on the street itself. The children who sleep on cardboard on the sidewalks, in parks, or in vacant and dilapidated buildings are often considered luckier than those who remain at home with exploitative parents. (http://www.iranpa.org/Seminar_Articles_Title.aspx?SeminarID)
Determining the numbers of street children and orphans in Iran is a virtual impossibility. Suffice it to say that they number in the thousands. In a 2005 report by the U.S. State Department, by the Iranian government’s own admission, 60,000 street children were accounted for in Iran. Numerous child rights organizations suspect that the number is substantially higher, citing figures of 200,000 or more. Of this number, about 55 percent are the children of Afghan refugees. A majority of the remaining street children are the offspring of mixed-nationality families, single parents or gypsies. While statistics report between 25,000 and 30,000 children who are forced to live and work in the streets and sweatshops of the city, Tehran is not the only place where children suffer the indignities of homelessness. ( Abolghasem Akbari, Academic and Career Adjustment, 2007), (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Day#Iran), (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_children)
Though a half a century has passed since Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the situation for the children of Iran has reached an unprecedented low. (Reza Nasseri, Farzaneh Taheri ,Theories of counseling and psychotherapy in Iran, 2008)
Though Iran is sitting on the world’s second largest oil reserves, due to a fundamentally corrupt political and socio-economic system of government, it fails to provide the most essentials needs of children. Today, the term orphanage has negative connotations. Other alternative names are group home, children’s home, rehabilitation center and youth treatment center. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007)
Serving Charity is an international interfaith non-profit organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its mission is to serve the poor through charity and selfless service. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is expressed to be the sole inspiration for the organization and all of its initiatives. Serving Charity was founded in 2003 by Abbas Jahangiri.
He is also the current owner of the historical music venue el Mocambo and other companies. Serving Charity is entirely run by volunteers. It resides and is primarily supported by the revenue from the el Mocambo. The organization has charity projects in seven countries; Canada, India, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Germany, Iran, and Vietnam. (Dr.Shideh Abedi, Informed choice of job, 2008)
In fact, in Iran there is not enough support for orphaned children. They don’t have many facilities in their rooms. They may suffer from different diseases. Of course, it is the responsibility of the government to care about them; however, sometimes it becomes less serious than anything else. (http://www.behzisti.ir/news/Show.aspx?id=9226)
Abol-Hassan Faqih, head of the State Welfare Organization, stating that the bill would be reviewed adoption, he said: 20 thousands of orphaned children are now living in the country and about five thousands children who are qualified for giving to families are applying for. Faqih added: “Seven thousand families are in turn for taking the children but due to legal problems annually to 800 children are given to these families. Welfare Organization Leader stating that the best place to serve the needy in society, said: “Considering employment and housing comrade under the cover of the priorities of this organization. – (http://www.cnwn.net/dastavard.htm), (http://www.resalat-news.com/Fa/?code=32915)
He added: “If the land is supplied in the provinces and cities, there is no limit to the housing credit allocation comrade there. Welfare chief added: “This year 12 thousand residential units with 500 billion rials for the disabled credit are made.”He credits that the value of housing compared with last year is 10 times moreFaqih added: “After this legislation in the past two years, 435 disabled with college education were employed in government departments’ countries. He expressed that in the first phase of justice; 963 thousand of stock Welfare families received justice, and said: “In the second stage 400 to 500 thousand shares will receive justice. Leader pointed out that last year’s health insurance coverage was 100 percent comrade in the country, and said: “This year complementary treatment for disabled insurance runs. Welfare chief declared: to prevent disability in the community, families with a disabled child are free to experiment for not witnessed the birth of another handicapped child. Community Leader announced of buying 160 babies hearing polls machines in the country, and said: Two years ago, only 16 machines in the country had eudiometry. Welfare chief added: 450 thousand disabled people in the country are waiting to receive services in turn in the organization. Scholar stating that a million and 50 thousand cases have been disabled in the country, he said: 600 thousand of them are covered by Social Welfare. (Reza Nasseri, Farzaneh Taheri ,Theories of counseling and psychotherapy in Iran, 2008)
The Role of Government and Other Organizations in Giving Orphaned Children Job Opportunities:
The government is trying to provide more opportunities for orphaned children to have jobs or work in different institutes. In fact, they start to have an experience of working in their home centre. Boys and girls are given choices according to their interests. Their field of teaching is not the same, and they are separate from each other. Boys can learn some careers such as “Typesetting”, “carpenter”, “repairing vehicles”, and so on. However, girls can work in another fields including:”tailoring”, “cook”, “secretary”, and so on. (Reza Shajiee, Factors of Cognitive levels of career success among Orphaned Students in Mashhad, 2009)
In Iran, Children’s day is celebrated on October 8. In this celebration, children are allowed to display all the things that they have made themselves. By this way, they are encouraged to work harder and show their abilities to people. In this day, most of the people from different places come to visit orphaned children. Sometimes they spend more money for them to buy a souvenir from them. So this can be a way to earn money. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
Empowerment is not a program that happens in a moment and a specific time but is a process that happens during the time and continued to occur. Former Head of Office family issues says: to achieve empowerment we must move step by step to reach the desired result. (Reza Shajiee, Factors of Cognitive levels of career success among Orphaned Students in Mashhad, 2009)
Hamid Reza Alvand emphasized that positive movements have done in the past years in enabling the children under the supervision of organization, he continues: In this regard, the Office Organization have emphasized on improving educational status of children, and was compiled in discussions based on the Quran and Islamic teachings, religious culture, and life skills education issues seriously. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
He refers to cooperative groups of children living in homes of children and adolescents and says: formation of cooperative groups and access to relatively stable employment of children, is the concerns and goals of organization offices in the provinces of the country and diligently follow the plan but the plan in this year is continued to implement by changing the look and format of the defined programs. ( Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
He also mentions this period, which children live under the supervision of organization, a “Gold Period”, because it’s a gold time that children can learn life skills for the continuing life.
He emphasizes that it lasts very quickly, and children should spend their time on educational factories and some workshops.
Alvand announced that learning one professional skill is one of the base programs of Empowerment Project under the supervision of children’s organizations, and says: This year, all children who are age 15 and older must have a form of professional skills and children who live at home and with Families also must be familiar with computer skill. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
He points out on other skills in children’s empowerment project, and says: All children residing in homes and centers for children and adolescents must exercise one of the basic disciplines (athletics, swimming and gymnastics) to learn.
Alvand emphasizes that basic sports are very effective in developing the physical and mental health. He continues that by improving the level of physical and mental health can help children in entering to the community and cause empowerment of their social and individual interactions. It also can increase their self-confidence and safety against dangers or social damages. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
The third skill in empowerment of children in the organization is learning the second language. Alvand says: all the children here have to learn one of the international languages and it is going to be compulsory in the organization.
The next thing is a powerful observation on children’s education. The aim is to increase their scientific and educational level of them and implement high academic qualifications.
Of course all these skills can be gained through group working and the main goal of the organization is to make these children independent in the society. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
The former head of organization mentions that development in child care programs, decreasing the family centers, strengthening the Special Forces deployed in children and youth homes, consultations for adopting children and preparation of houses and…were the Programs in the current year’s agenda that will be the Office programs in the coming year too. (Dr.Rahmatollah Nouripoor, Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 2007), (Dr.Rahmatolah Nouripoor, “What Job is related to our Personalities?” ,2008)
Currently 477 centers have circadian activity in the country. Alvand says: “Of these, 350 centers are non-governmental and 127 are governmental Centre to be run.
When we look carefully at this case we will only result in a conclusion that working in this place is by love and social welfare service to the community, especially orphaned children is the main target. In fact it shows the responsibilities and concerns of managers and employees in the organization.
(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,107108,00.html), (Abolghasem Akbari, Academic and Career Adjustment, 2007) Children Welfare Organization is responsible for the later stages of children for material and spiritual support. For this purpose these are the supports from the organization:
1- Pay for professional training
2 – Payment of capital and employment of children working
3 – Payment of medical expenses
4 – Providing living essentials
5 – Providing housing allowance
6 – Providing facilities for married girls
7 – Support other unforeseen