Cornwall Cogitation #3 Sunday 19 February 2017 Schools in Cornwall were closed for Half-Term this past week. Families on holiday were evident everywhere, as were their dogs, on the beaches, walking paths and restaurants. Truro Cathedral had special activities for children.
Four children were part of a five-mile West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society walk on Tuesday (a fair number or these walkers are in their 80s). Dennis, one of the regular walkers, brought two of his grandchildren along. Two other pre-teens and their mother and grandmother were also on the walk.
The kids took the walk–and oldsters–in stride. I asked one of them whether he’d join the walk next week if he could. “Yes!” he said. One can image his response reflected the thought of freedom from the classroom; still, I think it reflected his genuine pleasure of a new experience, including having the walk leader buy each of the kids an ice cream cone.
Messy Church. Last Sunday was the once-a-month time for Messy Church at St Anta & All Saints. Messy Church served 18 children and their parents and grandparents from 9:30-10:30, with the regular service at 11. Messy Church is a Church of England effort to engage young families with biblically-based stories, music and activities. On our visit for a walk around Truro we noticed that Truro Cathedral provided arts and crafts activities and trails for families and children each day during Half-Term.
What young people in 20 countries say about themselves. The newspaper i this week reported on a poll conducted in 20 countries on the mental wellbeing of young people. The survey showed the UK was next to the bottom for mental wellbeing. The survey was done with 20,000 young adults aged between 15 and 21.
UK: “Just 14 percent of UK respondents said they had good physical wellbeing, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and devoting enough time to rest and reflection,” wrote reporters Richard Vaughan and Dean Fairby. “This was average for the 20 countries, but well below that of Nigeria, where 41 per cent stated they were fit and healthy.”
The biggest concern for the UK’s young was terrorism (83 per cent). “Most think the Government should make it easier for immigrants to live here rather than more difficult.”
Summaries from seven more of the 20 countries:
Indonesia: “Ninety per cent of respondents in Indonesia said they were happy with their lives. Young people in he predominantly Muslim country were the most likely to say that religious faith was important to their happiness (93 per cent).”
United States: “Support for non-violent free speech in all circumstances was higher among young Americans than among those in other Western countries. Twice as many young people think the world is becoming a worse place (40 per cent) than think it is becoming better.”
Canada: “Young people here are the most likely of any Western country polled to believe their country is a good place to live (87 per cent). Young people in Canada were more likely to say they were anxious about school than in any other Western country.”
Germany: “Young people’s support for same-sex marriage (82 per cent) was higher than in all of the countries surveyed. However, only 37 per cent thought it should be easier for immigrants to work there. Three-quarters said they had strong relationships with family and friends.”
Brazil: “Young adults here have a positive attitude towards migration, and are among the most likely to think that their government should make it easier for migrants to settle. However, Brazil had the lowest proportion of young people with good emotional wellbeing.”
South Africa: “More South Africans think the world is becoming a worse place (48 per cent) than a better one (15 percent). Only 32 per cent think South Africa is a good place in which to live–a lower proportion than in any other country apart from South Korea.”
Japan: “Of the 20 nationalities polled, young people here were unhappiest. Fewer than half said they were either happy or very happy. Religion had the smallest role to play in the lives of the young Japanese, with 9 per cent saying it was important to their happiness.”
The survey findings were published in Generation Z: The Global Citizenship Survey compiled by Populus on behalf of the Varkey Foundation education charity.
Child rescue. The Truro Cathedral news for February and March has a report on an organization in southern India that deals with street children, the kind of youngsters who came to international attention through the film Slumdog Millionaire. The organization, Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, operates in the city of Vijayawada. Since 1993 they have rescued a total of 48,715 children. More than 7,000 girls have been rescued from a life on the street or in child labour businesses to be fed, educated and given a second chance, The Navajeevan website is http.//njbb.org.
Children deserve the best present and future that families, civic, educational, health, social, faith and governmental communities, nations and groups of nations can offer them. I think of the books by Lemony Snicket where the three orphaned children survive every attempt by adults to help and even harm them. Some have the ulterior motive to get their hands on the fortune their parents left them. So, for the moment, instead of dismay at the hurdles children and young people and their , and especially child refugees, face, all I want to say is thanks to the many unheralded people who day-in and day-out take the welfare of children to heart. God bless children and all those who care for them.
Photo gallery of the week