Genital Mutilation is not Acceptable Whether it be in Africa or America: Free our Children from Abusive Teachers, Doctors and Therapists

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When I first learned about female genital mutilation, it was sometime in the 90’s. I went to an art installation. I later read about it through Planned Parenthood’s international newsletter. I saw terrible photos of little girls in kitchens with a person wielding some sort of machete, I think it was. Those images disturbed me to no end. Children should have rights. The rights of their parents to protect and safeguard their well-being. They should be listened to and respected, but the parents should be the adults, who teach right from wrong. Parents should be teaching values, educating the child, providing them with their basic needs.

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Life on the Streets through a Social Worker’s Eyes

Today I told someone my address and gave them Oakland as my city instead of Columbus. An odd thing to come out of my mouth after eleven years have passed. From 1996-2010, I lived in Oakland, Fremont and Hayward, California. During this time, I worked for the Berkeley Head Start program and Alameda County Department of Social Services.

I “held” children from all different types of backgrounds: giving them hugs, holding their hands, providing transportation, sharing meals and listening to their stories. I read hundreds of court reports when the case was transferred over or wrote them myself. I gave them love by building trust with them through honesty and support and following through on their needs and wants. We worked a 37.5 hour week though there were times I was off the “clock” or didn’t take a lunch and a break – what was that? The best of us worked our hearts off doing due diligence for other people’s children and sometimes the quality effort, being self-assigned to a family, didn’t include looking at the clock. We were martyrs but it is easy to get lost in a life; that so desperately needs your help. Especially when those that were supposed to, had let them down so many times before – even us.

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