Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Children's life in the streets of Mogadishu

by: Abdulaziz Billow Ali
Thursday, October 25, 2012 

Ranked among the world’s failed states, Somalia has been marred by internal fighting since 1991 following the collapse of its central administration.

As a result the effects of the war stand out clearly, among them, the surge in the number of street urchins wandering in the Mogadishu streets.

However, a Somali based charitable organization has taken the lead in changing the lives of the hundreds of street children by opening rehabilitation and educational center that currently plays host to 80 street children.

According to experts poverty and conflict have thrown out thousands of children into the streets of the Somali capital exposing them to a variety of disease, drugs and sexual violence. The center however plans on improving the life of these children, promising them quality life and education to prepare them to become future leaders of Somalia.

The children are now living in a home set up; unlike the life they had on the streets full of distress and lack of security.

The center plans on rehabilitating these young minors brought from the Mogadishu streets and majority of the children in these center are orphans as a result of the conflict that has plagued Somalia for more than two decades now.

The children now sleep on comfortable beds at night and are given quality food to counter the possible occurrence of malnutrition as compared to when they were living on the streets.

While living in the streets the young children face certain irreversible risk such as addiction to drugs, sniffing glue and chewing a local narcotic leafy stimulant common in Somalia. However the center now works alongside the local district administration in shifting these children from the streets of the war torn capital.

There has not been any official statistics on the number of street children in Mogadishu but in 2008, UNICEF and local aid agencies estimated that there are at least 5,000 street children in the war-torn capital Mogadishu.


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