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“My name is David. I am nine years old, I have cerebral palsy. My room in the B&B is very small so I can’t use my walker or wheelchair.”
The above video title, written by a young homeless boy with cerebral palsy in Ireland, has taken the Internet by storm. It’s been viewed over 100,00 times on Facebook and shared over 600 times on Twitter.
Charitable organization Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) posted the video as part of the #MyNameIs campaign, which shines light on homeless children in Ireland. David Nugent, head of advocacy at ICHH, said that the little boy’s video is one of 150 videos the organization will be posting in an effort to show that the country’s homeless kids are real people with unique stories.
In addition, starting on Monday, the organization will release over a thousand posters that depict the faces of homeless children.
“On Monday morning, the country will wake up to thousands of posters of homeless children’s faces on posters around Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Galway,” said Nugent.
“When we started, the homeless issue was rough sleepers and then, by two years, we were inundated with families,” CEO of the charity, Anthony Flynn, added. “I don’t believe the public is aware of how bad the child and family homelessness situation really is.
— Gillian Hamill (@HamillGillian) August 26, 2017
The 1:38 minute video of David shows the little boy walking up steps while holding onto a red walker. David’s back is facing the camera, and he never shows his face, but the apparent struggle with walking is all too real in the short clip. David eventually makes it up the steps and eventually walks into a hallway while an adult is coaching him on. The viral video has already been viewed more than 200,000 times.
Flynn said they decided to post the video on social media and use the hashtag #MyNameIs in order to have a way for people online to talk about the issues of homelessness, particularly homeless children. Further, the organization also plans to ask people to lobby in order to get assistance for the children.
“One is to use the #MyNameIs hashtag on social media to start conversations about homelessness; the second thing is to lobby your local councillor, TD, or prospective political candidate on the issue; and thirdly the campaign is asking people to reflect on their skill or trade to see if they can volunteer an hour of their time to help an organisation in their area.”
— Niamh Griffin (@griffinniamh) August 26, 2017
Nugent that after carrying out interviews with the homeless, around 85% said that sleeping was rough and that substance abuse problems and people begging were an everyday occurrence. He’s hoping the the campaign will help change these children’s lives for the better.
The problem with homeless children is apparently on the rise. Flynn said there would likely be even more homeless children by 2018. Worse, children ranges between the ages of six to 11 are being given sleeping bags to sleep on the streets near the capital, with nearly no other help or accomodations.
“This is an education campaign. We hear about adults, but never children who are homeless….”
— MyNameIs (@MyNameCampaign) August 23, 2017