After three and a half years in Beirut, I’m used to the Syrian kids begging on the streets. Knowing that these kids are exploited and forced to beg by adult gangs makes it a tough call to give money or not. I know that little of the money will actually go to them–and at the same time, I know the stories of small children begging late into the night, forbidden to quit until they meet their quota. And there are worse stories.
So, the kids out begging when they should be in school or out playing or in bed is a familiar sight here (Well, since 2011). What I wasn’t prepared to see was this adult organizing these girls to hit the streets.
There’s a group or two I know of who are trying to help exploited children heal from this trauma, but for the most part nothing is done to prevent it.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
Matthew 18: 6-7