Archbishop of Canterbury says children are not expendable

|PIC1|The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that children are "not expendable" in a video address to the Kids Company conference that took place Wednesday.

Dr Rowan Williams told the conference that he fully supported the organisation and the work it does, and explained that it was the greatest privilege being able to hear from the children directly.

He said, "What they think a real childhood is like, we all need to hear that, they know what they are missing, they know something of the privation that's at the heart of their lives.

"They know what they need and we need to hear it."

The Church of England leader also used the address to call on the Government to give greater investment into the vulnerable children in society.

Dr Williams said, "It's been said sometimes that you can gauge the temperature, the kind of moral climate of a society by looking at the way it treats its most vulnerable people.... What do we do on behalf of those who don't have voices, who don't have leverage, how do we bring their voices into public discussion?

"Are we a society where people are prepared to advocate for those who don't have voices of their own? Above all, are we prepared to put the necessary resource, skill and commitment, into the nurturing of human beings?"

He went on to criticise the way young people are treated as expendable by modern day society. He said, "Look around at our society and very often it seems as if we're prepared to countenance the fact that a very substantial percentage of our young people are expendable, they're left on the side of the road as we go on."

The Archbishop was just one of a host of key figures who have pledged support to keep the Kids Company going. Earlier this month, Christian Today revealed how the charity was due to close in March 2008 unless it received substantial government funding.

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the charity, has already re-mortgaged her own flat twice in efforts to keep the charity alive.

Batmanghelidjh said: "We present a new problem for the Government in terms of funding, because over 95 per cent of our children come to us directly off the streets instead of being referred via another charity or statutory organisation.

"This means there is no pot of money currently in existence that we can access. We are fighting to help children in a vacuum; in a dead care space."

However, she did offer words of hope saying, "There does now seem to be goodwill in the Government and an inclination to breathe life into that dead space to help us continue to care for these children."

The full text of Dr Rowan Williams speech can be viewed HERE.