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To Fight or to Fly

"I taught you to fight and to fly -- what more can there be?"

My favourite fictional run away child was Peter Pan who flies to freedom in Neverland.

We love our fictional children who run away and the adventures they encounter.

However the estimated 31,000 children who run away annually in Canada are not runnng to a fanstasy land.

One such child, "Levi" portrayed in the Jan 19th edition of The Toronto Star was one of those children who ran. He was part of the Youth Peer Mentors, a John Howard Society group. He was placed in a group home in Toronto far from friends and family He was not allowed to visit his family so at the age of thirteen he stole a vehicle and drove himself home. Levi states that he was sexually assaulted dozens of times by a staff member of the group home. Now he was looked at as a criminal. The child welfare system in Canada does not provide sureties for our youth who commit criminal acts while in care.

Group homes are often the gateway into the youth justice system.

In the 48 kids in Toronto and Belleview group homes 67% were charged within 30 days of arrival.

The Toronto Star, 1/19/2020

"You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you have run away you have no courage:

You are confusing courage with wisdom"...The Wizard of Oz -L. Frank Baum

80% of girls who run away have been physically or sexually abused

32% of children who run away attempt suicide

2 out of 3 children who run away have undiagnosed mental illness that had not been treated prior to the run.

*Brandon 21, 2017

"Come away, O human child

To the waters and the wild

With a fairy hand in hand

For the world's more full of weeping

Then you can understand.".............................W. B. Yeates

Can we offer them something else? This is my hope and my prayer

"They shall mount up with wings like eagles

They shall run and not be weary"

Isaiah 40:31


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