A group of children was recently invited by an organization to sing during a US$75/person high profile dinner at a 5-star hotel in the city. One would expect that the kids and their teachers would be treated properly and given the same food as those served to the guests. However that was not the case. Especially as there was no talent fee given to the children. They were instead given some unhealthy food and soft drinks, with ice, and only after some strong arguments. The children were starving before they performed. With the junk food and drinks, they were able to stave off their hunger for a short while. Then after the performance, they had to travel back to their homes and they arrived hungry and weakened. Now is this child exploitation or what?
What should schools and parents do when their students and children are requested to perform at events such as these?
I think they should have a set of guidelines to be followed by the one who invites the kids so that the health of the children will not be endangered, and their self-respect will still be intact. There are times when adults forget the fact that children are human beings, too, and they also need to be respected and treated properly. In this case, when they are invited to sing or do a presentation, proper nutritious food should be given to them, in addition to providing proper protection and safety. If they are not treated properly, it can be a traumatic experience for them, one which could have a detrimental effect on their consciousness, who knows. As they see the discrimination between them and the
Thus it is important to consider these things, such basic stuff as the type of food to be given to them as well as the actions of adults on how to treat people. If we want our society to be better in the future, we should be teaching our children the proper way to do things and of treating people.
Hopefully the next time the kids from the above-mentioned school get invited by the same organization, or by anyone, these guidelines will be followed. The kids deserve to be protected and cared for. The school and the parents should insist on it. If there is no assurance that the guidelines will be followed, then they just have to say No.