HIPGive Campaign: An emergency crowdfunding campaign to Protect the Children
Imagine for a moment that you are six years old again:
You have a home, you go to school, and you are part of a community. After school you like to explore with your friends, spend time with your family, and play with your toys. Now imagine that one day you pack up a few small possessions along with your birth certificate and you start walking. You say goodbye to everything that you know and begin a journey that will take you over 1,500 miles away from your home and, at six years old, you do it alone. It is difficult to envision, right?
What could be so terrible that it would force you to give up everything?
Since October 2013, these scenarios have become a frightening reality for over 57,000 children, some as young as four and five, from across Central America and Mexico. These unaccompanied minors have left their homes, fleeing levels of violence, abuse, and poverty that many of us can only imagine, and are seeking safe haven in neighboring countries, including the U.S.
According to the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, with 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people, Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. Belize, El Salvador, and Guatemala are not far behind on the list, ranking third, fourth, and fifth respectively.
The gang-related nature of this violence disproportionately affects young people and, as a result, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees estimates that an additional 40,000 children will join those already here before the year is over.
Not only do these children and youth face unsupportable levels of violence in their countries of origin, but they also face extremely dangerous and traumatic journeys, and often, they must endure inhumane and unjust conditions once they arrive.
In the U.S., with an immigration system that is insufficient, over taxed, and underfunded, many minors never even have the opportunity to speak to a lawyer or judge before being deported back to the conflict zones from which they came. As more children continue to arrive, and no clear solution is in sight, this humanitarian crisis has reached a critical juncture.
After careful consideration, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) has decided that the most effective way to address this issue is to launch an emergency HIPGive crowdfunding campaign – the PROTECT THE CHILDREN campaign.
The PROTECT THE CHILDREN campaign will support the efforts of those organizations that directly address the issue of these child refugees and that are already on the ground working hard to tackle this crisis.
It’s time to remind the world that these boys and girls arriving at the border ARE CHILDREN and they need to be treated as such, no matter where they come from.