Care for the forsaken ones

OM International | Poland

Several factors strongly influence youth crime, such as drug abuse, alcoholism, skipping classes and other school-related problems, as well as the breakdown of the family.

According to Polish studies, unhappy home life, characterised by lack of parental attention, conflicts and parental inconsistency, often causes juvenile delinquency.

An unhappy home life leads to a sense of rejection and insecurity. To satisfy their emotional needs, young people often seek out the company of peers in a similar situation. 

One juvenile correctional home outside Kutno, Poland, holds around 40 teens from all over Poland, ages 13-17. Most of them have committed minor offenses, like theft and drug possession. The teens stay in the centre from a few months to a maximum of three years, depending on the seriousness of their crimes. 

OM Poland aims to reach out to these troubled young people. They started visiting the centre last year and did several drug and alcohol awareness programmes. At first, the director was very reserved, yet when she saw that the OM Poland workers really cared about the teens, she asked them to come whenever they wanted. 

The team offers English classes for teens who are interested, and takes the teens out for sports or to OM's new church and community centre, where they can hang out with Christian teens.

Daniel, who has been in the centre for three years because of drug possession, always says hello and talks to the team when they visit. Next month, when he finishes junior high school, he will be transferred to another juvenile home. He is a bit worried about this transfer, as there is so much uncertainty ahead of him.

"Sadly, we won’t be able to do much for Daniel," said an OM worker, “but there are many more teens there who are looking for someone who really cares for them. Could we do more?" 

Recently, the OM team met with the director and proposed to visit the centre more often, simply wanting to show the teens that Jesus cares, and so do they.

To learn more about God's work through OM Poland, visit the news page.   

Published: Friday, 31 May 2013
Credit: OM International
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