Focus on the child

EVENT: Retrak Christmas blog AUTHOR: Sir Peter Fahy

Retrak is a Christian charity that works with children of all faiths and none. I have always been open about the fact that I am a Roman Catholic and how it guides my motivation. The Christian message is that all people regardless of circumstances are equal in the sight of God. Jesus Christ made it clear that children and the innocence of children are particularly special in his eyes. He used the example of the good shepherd searching for one lost sheep to illustrate that no person should be abandoned. It is fundamentally wrong to regard a street child as a lesser form of life and to give up on them.

The focus of Christmas is children or to be more exact a child. A child born away from home because of a political decision. In all the vast industry that has built up around Christmas, Christians are urged to keep their focus on the child; the message of hope and the Son of Man choosing to be born in poverty with the news first announced to the outcasts of society. For the team at Retrak, often immersed in the day to day of developing strategies, compiling reports for donors and fundraising, it is crucial that the child remains the focus of all our work and guides our actions.

This Gospel messages drives me and drives Retrak to transform the lives of more and more street children. It is not just a matter of religious faith. Study after study has shown that damaged childhoods lead to damaged adults and huge costs to society from under achievement, criminality and illness. Family is important in the Christian faith and in all major faiths but again research and experience shows that strong, loving families and nurturing parenting give children the best start in life. The greatest thing you can do in life is to transform the life of another human being and this again is at the heart of the Christian faith and the root of all humanity. When we uplift another person we uplift ourselves. We cannot all go to Africa to physically help street children but, through Retrak, your generosity goes directly to the streets where street children eat, work and scavenge to survive and allows our wonderful staff to do more good.

Happy Christmas from all at Retrak