Street children of Chad, an overlooked tragedy

Girl

Around two years old, the little girl runs from person to person with panic in her eyes, almost too tired to hold her dirty stainless steel dish up to ask for change. Nearby children dressed in dirty and torn clothing cling to shoppers as they walk along, repeating little rhymes or simply asking for “Sadaqha”, which means alms. Several other boys with their bowls hanging from strings around their necks wander aimlessly through the streets looking for something to eat.

At any kind of celebration, funeral, or wedding, young boys stand watching expectantly as the guests eat the food. As soon as a platter is finished by the guests, the boys rush to eat as much as they can and fill their bowls with food. Squatting to eat what they’ve managed to find, those with empty bowls wait for the next platter to be finished, then push and shove to try to get a share of what’s left. When the food’s all gone, some still have empty bowls, but they are chased away by the guests.

Occasionally a small body can be seen lying near the street in the shadow of a mosque. The sheet covering the body doesn’t stop the flies from gathering any more than it can stop the obvious questions that a body lying on the street should raise. How did this child live and die? Did they ever have anyone who cared about them?

More importantly, does anyone care about the rest of the street children who are just trying to stay alive? Do the churches and mosques only care about their dead bodies? What can be done to redeem the tragedy?

Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below, and follow Heartbeat Africa News to learn more about the causes, effects, and possible solutions to this overlooked tragedy that plays out every day in the streets of Chad.

George Adams

George Adams is a journalist and editor at Heartbeat Africa News. If you have breaking news, let him know at GeorgeAdams@heartbeatafrica.news

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