Category: Opinions Written by The Nation Mirror Admin
By Madhieu Thiep Madhieu
After the signing of 2005 peace agreement between the SPLA/M and the then government of Sudan, there has been a sharp increment in the number of street boys in most of South Sudanese towns. Young boys of different age categories ranging from 9-15 years left their parents in villages and ran to cities with the aim of generating money out of nothing. In their stay in towns, life has never been supporting as they thought, then they are forced by plight conditions to participate in dissipating activities such as sniffing glues, consuming alcohol, stealing and picking emptied bottles among others.
Most of these kids had refused sleeping at homes, but made streets as their sleeping habitat. They used to roll themselves into empty sacks of nylon and continue with their night sleeps. Anybody that they come across at night is liable for rape, loot and sometimes kills should he/she resist complying with their request. At day time, many of them are seen carrying sacks on their backs, picking emptied bottles of sodas and mineral water. They have nothing to do apart from sniffing glue which makes them intoxicated.
Another group of these boys are shoe-shiners, who move from shop to shop asking people to polish shoes. This group doesn’t sleep in the market or on the road, but do their business during daylight and later return home. It was on 22nd September 2014 at Kuajok market, when I caught up with one of shoe-shiner whom I called to polish my shoes upon his request. The young boy aged 13 years, identified as Akol told me that his father was serving in Western Bahr el Ghazal police. I asked him whether he was at the school, but he said no, he had dropped out from the school. No reason to justify as I didn’t bother to inquire more details pertaining his dropping out. How much are you getting per day from this activity? I asked him.’’ 15-20 South Sudanese pounds a day’’, he replied. What do you do with the money? I questioned again. ’’I give it to my parents’’ he replied confidently. I shook my head and ended the conversations with the shoe-shiner after he had wonderfully cleaned my shoes.
This local interview I conducted with the young boy prompted me to ask, why do parents fail to control their children from going to street at this early stage of life? The boy I interrogated was presentable and possessed good qualities of leadership, perhaps he had been denied a chance to study. All the street boys and shoe shiners I met are among the best kids that would have been taken to school by their parents or guardians. Parents of kids have forgotten to recall the sufferings they encountered during reproductive processes.
Parents are tasked to make sure that their children get better education, security, health and all sort s of good things that raise the child to adulthood. But it is unfortunate to learn that parents of toady produce their off springs for the sake of nothing. Not mindful about what the child eats, wear or where to sleep. Not all of these children are orphans; many of them left their parents because of irresponsibility shown by the family, and others intended to come and generate money from unknown source in towns, which they can’t achieve but just ended up being “Chamaachi’’ as they called it. Parents should be extremely cautious to advise their children to come back home and go to school. But with cars, motorbikes and bicycles passing nearby villages, it had been very easy for these kids to cling up and move to urban areas, whether parents want or not.
It was an abomination in those days, for young boys of such ages to leave home and stay in town without somebody caring for them. We were seriously in those years flogged by our parents should we commit any simple mistake. Punishments were awarded based on the offense committed.But children of today are never corrected by their parents and this has caused many of them to go to street as baggers.
• Parents should come to urban areas and identify their children and take them back home.
• Government should establish orphanage centers in states for those children whose parents are not alive.
• Strolling children should be deported to their respective villages if they are not studying