Somali Street Children are In Need of Support and Assistance Featured

Melbourne, 10/09/2023. In Somalia, an enormous number of children aged between 7 and 14 years find themselves living on the streets due to a variety of harsh circumstances. They end up in this dire situation primarily because of factors such as being orphaned by ongoing explosions and violence, family poverty, overcrowding at home, abuse, neglect,

and family disintegration. In search of a better life, many families and their children migrate from rural areas to larger cities, often ending up in displaced camps or as street children. Unfortunately, no one knows the exact number of children living on the streets of Somalia.

Some of these street children, due to poverty, even find themselves supporting one or two disabled or sick parents at home or younger siblings. They engage in various forms of informal work, including shoe shining, car washing, portering, and general labor. Some resort to begging and move from place to place in search of opportunities, while others take refuge at dumpsites, scavenging for food and scraps to survive.

These children are generally traumatized, feeling abandoned and neglected, which often leads to a sense of despair. They lack a support system and even some of the most basic human necessities. Consequently, many of them develop psychiatric conditions as a response to the harsh lifestyle, marked by threats of violence, starvation, and a lack of shelter and love. They are at a higher risk of becoming victims of assault, given their vulnerable environment, and may resort to self-medication with harmful substances.

As a result, a significant number of these children become drug addicts, with glue being their drug of choice. In major cities like Mogadishu, it's a common sight to see these children on street corners, clutching plastic bottles filled with glue. They are homeless and, at night, sleep on street corners, under bridges, or outside of shops.

In Somalia, there is no effective or functioning government capable of addressing the issues faced by orphaned children, poverty, security, drug addiction, and homelessness. Furthermore, there are no national or international organizations equipped to provide support and assistance to these children.

I urge the Somali diaspora to come together and provide assistance to these disadvantaged Somali children.

Awes Sheikh Muheidin Amin
Environmentalist, Melbourne, Australia
B.Sc Environmental Health Management; B.Sc Environmental Science
Post Grad. Low-Cost Infrastructure