photography and narrative © carol allen storey
The impoverishment of Africa has propagated the continent with an emerging underclass of runaways and orphans.
They roam the back streets, live rough, exist on a diet of rotting foods, addicted to drugs, alcohol, gamble and steal. Their future is bleak. Africa is staggering under the load of this emerging new tribe. The habitual poverty, lack of self-esteem, motivation, and stifling boredom is endemic in their daily life. What hope can disenfranchised children have without parents, affection, shelter, education, and moral guidance? Children as young as 5, living in a sub-human environment is a breach of children’s rights as guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This young ‘tribe’ reside in Kasese, a remote Western equatorial town of Uganda close to the Congolese border, a region of conflict. They are known locally as the Dustbin Boys because they virtually live on a rubbish heap where they have accessibility to forage the meagre scraps deposited in the dumpster by the local poor community.
The Dustbin tribe range in age from 6 months to 14, many under 10. Some joined the tribe at the fragile age of 4. None of the boys attend school, they have no access to health care, a safe home, clean water and are tragically deprived of parental nurturing, love. The tribe have become a closely-knit family with the eldest member, Ali assuming the role of Chief.
The profanity of poverty continues unabated. It is a life without aspiration. This is heartbreaking for all these innocents imprisoned by their catastrophic set of unwarranted circumstances.