An awareness campaign by the Jood association, which works with the homeless, has created controversy among Moroccans. On social networks, opinions differ and several Internet users felt that the association’s message was unwelcome.
On March 10, the Jood association, supported by citizen volunteers who come to the aid of the homeless in the evening by providing them with meals, clothes and blankets, among other things, launched its new awareness campaign targeting child beggars.
The association which is active in 5 cities in Morocco (Casablanca, El Jadida, Rabat, Tangier, Marrakech) has posted a poignant short film on the reality of child begging and shared posters in the main streets of the city of Casablanca to publicize its campaign entitled “for his own good, don’t give him anything”, in reference to the coins given here and there to children in the street. The posters were also accompanied by a hashtag #Sa_place_est_en_classe.
Jood explains his approach by a cruel system where children are trapped in criminal gangs who “hire” them by the day to bring money to a chief, or even to their family. It is also the parents of these beggar children who push them to go begging instead of sending them to school.
According to the association, which is familiar with the land and the street world, these children are “rented” by the day for 150 dirhams. From an early age, they learn to make begging a profession, seeking to attract tenderness and to play on the emotional side of passers-by and drivers to glean coins.
The daily earnings of women bearing children can reach up to 350 dirhams, and up to 800 dirhams on Fridays (the day when many Moroccans do their “sadaka”), according to Hind Laidi, president of the Jood association.
And it is because they report more than an adult that children have become exploited to beg professionally, hence Jood’s campaign which calls on Moroccans to no longer encourage this phenomenon of child exploitation by refusing to play. the game.
However, this campaign was not of the opinion of all. On social networks, several voices were raised to consider that it was “inappropriate”, and to affirm that by refusing to give them a coin it would plunge them into hunger and violence.
your begging poster is shocking and above all badly made
– Don Rimoun De la Kacha (@RimounYaaG) March 17, 2021
“Hey Jood, your begging poster is shocking and above all badly done,” said one Internet user.
واش عارفين هادو لدايرين هاد الحملة بلي هداك الطفل لمجمعش الفلوس غادي اتخلى داربوه هديك الليلة وغقادن الزت فلوس غادي اتخلى داربوه هديك الليلة وغقادن الزت فلوس غادي اتخلى داربوه هديك الليلة وغقادن الزت فليلة باش نقلبوا على حلول منطقية و نعطقوالدراري كنزيدو نتكرفسو عليهم
– hakim (@ hakim9641) March 17, 2021
“Do these people who carried out this campaign know that this child has to collect money or else he gets beaten up at night and sleeps in the street?” Instead of finding pragmatic solutions and saving these children, we only worsen their situation, ”criticized another.
“Awkwardly lesson-giver marketing,” adds a tweet with the hashtag “you don’t belong in the ad”. Other Moroccans considered Jood’s message to be pretentious and bourgeois.
Nevertheless, some said they supported the campaign saying this was the way to go, while arguing that many of these children are victims of mafia networks.
“The message is intentionally made to shock. Jood knows how the begging mafia works, ”defended a user in the discussion channel. And another added that the post was not pretentious because Jood goes to meet these people and is in contact with them every day.
“With Jood I saw what real poverty was, a poverty so hard that these people hide, only go out at night to do the trash, I saw a group of about 15 children living in a tunnel. of disused train ”, declared an Internet user defending the action of the association.
The message is intentionally made to shock. Jood knows how the begging mafia works.
– Imad B. (@ImadBouziane) March 17, 2021
“I never give to beggars with children… .. children often asleep with sleeping pills…”, replied one worker. And another to confirm: “Exactly, it’s a business that is akin to slavery. And when you give you contribute. “.
Exactly, it is a business akin to slavery. And when you give you contribute.
– quarantine crisis (@ooopscitizen) March 17, 2021
“You have already seen a 3-year-old child who sleeps all day, these criminals give them syrups to put them to sleep like vegetables and beg with”, could one still read in comment on Twitter.
If Jood’s campaign shocks and makes people react, it is indeed a part of won for the association which seeks to sensitize Moroccans to the ordeal of these children and this gear in which they are locked up and where the citizen who gives a coin of one dirham contributes.