Paolo Patruno

Street children
Location: Bologna
Nationality: Italian
Biography: I am a freelance documentary photographer and filmmaker. I traveled throughout Africa over the past ten years, documenting global topics, including health care, education, human rights, gender issues, sustainable development. Since 2011 I’m... read on
Public Story
Street children
Credits: paolo patruno
Updated: 09/16/16
Archived as:  ,
Kabale, Uganda

Anold, 12. Moses, 14. Elisha, 15. Nestori, 16. Allan, 13. Dick, 14. Michael, 16. Joseph, 14. These are names and age of some of the guys who are now living, or rather survive in the streets of Kabale, Uganda. They are all orphans of one or both parents, abandoned to their fate, because the next of kin is not in the economic conditions to deal with them. Each with its own history, their dreams, joined by a destiny that brought them to live on the streets, sharing what little food that each has found in the garbage, sleeping close to each other, some dressed only a tshirt, when the night temperature may fall between 5 and 10 degrees. Their day begins before dawn, it's done by their wits, to even earn a few shillings with which to buy something to eat, but when this is not possible, they have to petty theft, even just for reselling stolen by scrap one of the many small stores that are in town. Some of them smoke marijuana or sniff glue, and those days are not even able to eat because their body is so altered from what little food they refuse but they would need. When you have 4, 5, 6 years and you find yourself alone, alone in the street, with nobody to take care of you, it also becomes easier prey and a victim of unscrupulous adults: all of these guys were in fact lured by a man in city takes advantage of their condition pity passersby, tourists, and to obtain money instead of being used for boys, ends in his pockets. After almost one year of abuse, Anold, Moses, Elisha, and everyone else has decided that it would be better to be alone on the road, relying, solely, on the other one. The life torn from them that childhood that all children have a right to live, forcing them to become just "big." The street life had hardened their features, so as to make them look older than their age, but when you look in their eyes, hear them talk, you know that in reality they are still young children.
There are more than 8,000 children, in Uganda, living on the streets.
Many are orphans due to war or AIDS, most have between 6 and 15 years. Their main dream is to go to school, get education.

By Paolo Patruno —

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