Orphans of Migration

Vika (17 years old) and Tanja (8 years old) have been living alone for two year now. Father left the family and mother left two year ago to work in US. Girls contact their mother few times per month. Besides school work Vika has to take responsibility for home works, shopping and raising her sister. Vika does not want to talk about her mother. To the question, does Vika misses her mother, she answers, that sometimes it feels that I can’t take it anymore, especially when Tanja starts to cry and call for mother.

This is only one example. According to the study carried out in Lithuania, sociologists confirm that in total there are 30 000 children in Lithuania, whose parents work abroad. This kind of phenomenon is called transcontinental families. One third of these children are living with relatives or alone. Approximately 500 000 people have left Lithuania during 17 years, breaking families and leaving children as orphans. According to the survey intentions to go abroad are spontaneous and reason for leaving is primarily low wage level. Normally one of the spouses goes abroad, after a while another follows, at first they earn money for food, then for repair works, then for new house, afterwards they find no reason to go back. Sociologists confirm that the longer the parents are away, the worse the children behaviour become. The average age of children in transcontinental families is between 14 and 16, feeling betrayed by their parents causes deep psychological trauma and they might turn to criminal actions. Sociologists in Lithuania are convinced that more serious consequences of emigration has not emerged yet and will have large-scale effect in future. (Jelena Pismennikova, Eks­press-Nedelja)

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5 thoughts on “Orphans of Migration

  1. This is really sad! I think, onced you have a family and children, this has to be no.1 in your life! And in case that you find a really good job abroad, than you have to take care about your family at first! So, if you see a really big advantage on this perfect new job abroad, then better to move to this country with your family. This is absurd, to leave your children and go away from your native country. How could this women live there?!? I couldnt!
    I think that money is not so important in our life, not so, that it could substitute your family life!
    So, it is true, sometimes money makes people selfish, and they care only for themself, and this is really a big problem in this modern time. Money really makes people foolish!

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  2. On the one hand i agree completely with the first comment that there is no excuse to leave children alone while working abroad and fending them for their selves. Moreover the older children can´t handle it to keep house, take care of their siblings and finally go to school. In that case the younger generation has no change like their parents to escape from their bad living conditions without any opportunity to experience a higher living quality in the future. It´s a vicious circle with the consequence that children are afflicted with that circumstances.
    On the other hand you have to earn the money even when you have to support a family and you don´t find a sufficient paid job to fulfil these obligations. Even when you are single parent without any support of your own family.
    In that case it´s indisputable to establish more institutions being responsible for socially disadvantaged persons with children.
    There should be no question in moving abroad because of financial distresses with improving the lack of financial benefits. Finally that´s a obligatory task the domestic policies including social commitment has to cope with.

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  3. I’m also of the opinion that it’s really bad that her mum left their children alone only because she wants to work. However, it’s also important that she earns money to survive. But I don’t understand why parents / mum or father don’t take their children to their new living place. In Germany I don’t know one of this cases. Usually the whole family moves to this new home.

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  4. Such a conduct is very sad! It is the government who should do something about it. Government should put forward laws that oblige parents taking care of their children. If the parents are not able to do so, it is upto the state to put the children in alternative care. Every child has a right to a healthy mental development and education. Alternate care, such as orphan houses can provide them with the basics they might need. The children will of course be affected because their parents left them and they will never again get the parental love, but at least they can grow up with all the basic needs covered. And they can still have the chance to enter to world of adults and future work-force as responsible human beings without being disadvantaged.

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  5. i think that it is really awful that they just leave the children to fend for themselves indefinatly, if the parents were returning i could sympathise with this not ideal but practical situation if it ment a chance of a better life for the children when the parents finally return…but for them to decide not to return is just selfish if they do not wish to have the burden of children they should not have had them in the first place. Are there some kinds of shelters set up for these kinds of children or organisations who help them?

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