It was 11:00 am on a Monday when I saw a nine-year-old boy, Bilal, lifting heavy rocks in a construction site. How many Bilals, children who toil long hours for a low wage, deprive themselves of education, and endure frequent violence and abuse just to financially support their families, do we meet daily?
Based on a study conducted by the Lebanese ministry of labor in 2013, there are almost 180,000 children working in Lebanon. Today, Lebanon is experiencing a huge decline in its gross domestic income (GDI). GDI is an economical metric that showcases the nation’s social welfare, and its deterioration results in more people living below 50% of the median income, and vice versa.
Thus, poverty is increasing in Lebanon, and more children as Bilal are being robbed of their childhood. The Lebanese government and supporting international organizations can take many initiatives to save Bilal and his friends; however, not all might have a fast and radical impact on the children labor phenomena. While observing international cases, through World Development Indicators dataset, I noticed that countries, which most of their population have access to electricity, have a lower percentage of poverty; thus, a lower number of employed children, and vice versa.
When power resources are available to the nation, people will have access to technologies, especially the internet. There are numerous internet usages that can create life opportunities for the individuals; for example, Bilal can access the internet to enroll in educational programs.
Considering the above, I appeal to the government and concerned institutions to utilize all their endeavors in providing a sustainable electrical solution for our children to live a “normal” life and have the chance to prosper.