Yoga 4 Foster Children & Orphans
Children are the future.
If you are a member of the population that grew up with wonderful, loving and supportive parents, you are extremely blessed. There are currently millions of children in the United States alone who are being raised in sub-standard living conditions with parents who are unfit to provide even the basic necessities for their evolution and survival. I know first hand, as I was one of these children. It is not easy.
If it were a requirement for parents to be tested and screened before given the right and privilege to bring children into the world, that would reduce the number of neglected children dramatically. However, that is not feasible at this time. So, we have millions of adults who are certainly not even fit to take care of themselves, bringing children into the world who they simply can not provide for.
What can be done?
Government created agecies, specifically Youth and Family Services and the Human Resources Services (HRS) have been given the responsibility to provide for and care for these children. The ones left behind. The ones who are wondering where their next meal will come from and if they will have a ride to school.
Luckily our government provides health care for all children in the USA who don't have insurance. They can not, however, replace the guidance, love and nurturing that parents can provide. They do, however, provide "Foster Homes" for mal-treated children to have a place of refuge and be provided the basic necessities to live.
Families or individuals volunteer and register to become "Foster Parents". This designates that they can provide a secure home with basic necessities for these children to live for either short periods of time, in emergency, or for longer. In some cases, they will provide care for the children for the remainder of the adolescent lives, if necessary.
When I was 7 years old and my parents were both declared "unfit to raise children" by the State of Florida. We were sent to live in Foster Homes. My 3 sisters and I were split up in pairs and placed with two seperate families to live for a while until my parents could get their lives in order to care for us again. I cannot speak for all foster home experiences, but only from my own personal experience. Although I am eternally grateful to have been offered a place to live during those turbulent times, the homes in which we were placed were anything but blissful. In some cases, people are volunteering to be foster parents to receive a free paycheck from the government and being neglectful themselves. I can recall (as I was placed in more than a half a dozen homes over the course of 5 years) several homes where stale cereal with bole weavels in it was served for breakfast and little love was shared. We were treated as strangers and that was how we felt. It was traumatic. I cried myself to sleep many nights, begging to be with my mother again. Even though she was unable to care for her children in the conventional sense, she could provide one thing that most of these care givers lacked so desperately: LOVE.
The full story can be read in my book, which will be published in 2010. For now, suffice it to say, it is a cause very near and dear to my heart.
During this era, so much emphasis is being placed upon adoption and caring for children overseas. In Africa, India, China and all across the world there are children who need love, nurturing and basic life necessities. I support all efforts to help those in need, regardless of geographic location. It is my mission, through this organization, however, to encourage you to extend your support, love and generosity to those children in need, right here in our back yard.
You can help in the following ways:
- 1. Donate to dashama.org which is a not-for-profit branch of Perfect10Lifestyle that provides education, love, guidance and support to the children caught up in the system and "forgotten". We use the money to fund the logistical aspects to the organization, to give back to the children gifts and blessings, and to pay teachers and mentors to offer support and guidance to these seedlings of our future.
- 2. Volunteer your time to help with some of the upcoming projects we are creating to raise awareness and encourage people that desire to help.
- 3. Spread the word
- 4. Become a Foster Parent. This could be your chance to care for a child in a way you never thought possible. Whether you already have children of your own or not, if you have the heart, means and desire to make a tremendous impact into the life/lives of children, this is the best option for you. You can be a temporary (emergency) care provider, short term or long term provider. You choose. I only ask that you have an open heart and the financial means and time to dedicate to shaping another being's life. This is REAL. This is called Seva in Yoga. Self-less service. Bhakti- Devotion. And is the highest level in the path to LOVE.
- 5. Pray and offer blessings of spirit to the children in need and for their parents who are obviously struggling with tremendous challenges as well.
Some Statistics: In 2007
- * An estimated 794,000 children were victims of maltreatment;
- * The rate of victimization was 10.6 per 1,000 children in the population; and
- * More than 3.5 million children received CPS investigations or assessments.
Each State bases its own definitions of child abuse and neglect based on the standards set by Federal and State laws. The child protective services (CPS) units within each State respond to the safety needs of children who are alleged to have been maltreated based on those State definitions. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003, defines child abuse and neglect as:
- * Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or
- * An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.
These are the most severe. More mild cases of neglect can include: verbal and emotional abuse and neglect. Failure to provide basic necessities for child development, demonstration of profane and improper behavior, etc.
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Other Outreach that we Support
Rainforest Alliance is a wonderful organization that is committed to the preservation and protection to our rainforests. The rainforests is the home of the world's most abundant source of oxygen, medicinal herbs, flowers and plants, as well as the densest population of exotic plants, animals and living species on the planet. They even have PINK Dolphins! These sacred and endangered forests are being destroyed to raise beef cattle and for other similarly damaging purposes.
At Perfect 10 Lifestyle, we look forward to partnering with the RA in the future, to raise funding and awareness to stop the deforestation and to help preserve our natural environment. Visit their website for more info.
An Amazon River dolphin
Although most people think about all the animals that live in the forest on land, the Amazon actually has an amazing variety of animals and fish that live in its rivers. Here is an Amazon river dolphin. Sometimes these dolphins are called "pink dolphins" because as they get older their skin turns a pink color. Unlike their cousins in the ocean, these dolphins swim only in freshwater. And Amazon river dolphins are the largest species of freshwater dolphin in the world -- growing to more than 10 feet long and weighing over 200 pounds. In the waters below the forest there is room for lots of animals to live. The rivers of the Amazon have over 3,000 species of fish. Not to mention all the turtles!
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