What does their future hold?
The Northern part of Nigeria is notorious for having the largest number of street child, popularly known as the “Almangeris”. I do not understand this concept until my encounter with one of these Almangeris.
It was on a cool Monday morning, in Gwagwalada Abuja the capital of Nigeria. I was dressed for school and as I stepped out to get a means of transportation, a strange young rough looking boy was by my gate. He was barely 9 years old and his spoken English is noting close to average. He begged for twenty naira to eat (twenty naira is barely 0.067 per cent of a dollar bill). He introduced himself as Yero, from our conversation, he does not know the whereabouts of his parent and has only one person he thinks is his brother who always take care of him, he called him Isa. He said Isa has also gone out to beg for alms so they could feed, just as he is also doing.
Yero however does not see anything more to life aside begging to feed himself and his brother Isa. When I asked if he would like to stop begging and go to school, if he has a dream, he sent a very uneasy look at me with a shrug from his shoulders that sent a message “give me money or let me be”.
I felt bad as he walked away after taking the little I could give. What has informed his ideology of life without hope, life without dreams, life to live and die on the street? I can’t help but ponder. There are millions of his kinds in almost every African country, full of strength to live but with hope lost in a dark oblivion.
What can be done to help the street child?
We can socialise street kids by providing them with foster homes, proper love, education and care, till they began to feel like they are part of the society and see the need to make impact in it.
Eschol Foundation is concerned.