Saturday, June 20, 2009

CAMEROON: Bringing street children back home

The following are direct quotes from the article:
Ousmanou, 13, has lived in the streets of Cameroon’s political capital Yaoundé for four months. He and his brother used to live with their grandmother in the northern city of Maroua but she could not afford to feed them properly. Now Ousmanou often forages for food in trash bins.

“We often have no choice but to search the garbage for something to eat,” he told IRIN, nursing an arm injury for which he said he cannot afford to see a doctor. He said he has been unable to find work as he had hoped and has turned to begging.

Reasons for children ending up in the streets vary, from economic hardship to family conflicts to peer pressure, according to ministry interviews with children. Many children in Yaoundé told IRIN they left home desperate to find work, their families unable to support them. But most said they regret their decision, having hit a dead end.

He added: “Children are used to transport drugs; they are recruited into gangs."

Click here to read the entire article!

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