Through The Eyes of Two Street Kids
As you sit and enjoy your lunch on one of the school’s lawns, there are a number of children ,some as young as six who are desperately digging in nearby rubbish bins, hoping to find a few crumbs of the previous night’s dinner. Shocking? Well, it’s a reality they face on a daily basis. Street children are found almost everywhere in all communities. With their dirty faces and torn clothes it’s almost hard to believe that even they may be someone’s children. Perhaps your own community’s children…
Sitting on a bench enjoying my lunch, I am approached by two young-looking boys. “A slice of bread please, auntie,” the taller of the two asks shyly in Afrikaans. Their clothes are old and smell of body odour, their faces are slightly dirty and they are in ...view middle of the document...
“Thank you”, they say together. It becomes clear that they haven’t eaten in a while.
I discover the boys ages. Marco is fourteen and Peter is twelve. Both have turned the streets into their homes. They met each other on a street corner in Bellville where they had been begging for food. They soon became friends and started sharing whatever they could find with one another.
How did they end up on here? What are two children doing on the streets in the first place? I wonder. Where their parents are, their families, and their homes? The two boys share similar stories. Marco lived in a small neighbourhood filled with crime and violence. His mother was unemployed and his father worked for a stingy salary at a wood factory. Most of his income which should have spent on food and clothing for Marco and his four-year-old sister was spent on his alcoholic habit. “There were times when my father came home drunk every night of the week. When my mother complained, he would beat her and when I tried to pull them apart, my father would beat me too.” Marco hesitates. “Sometimes I would go to bed with bruises all over my body. I cried myself to sleep.” He stares at his feet as he utters these last words. When he felt that he could no longer handle the abuse, Marco ran away from home.
By the time I get up to leave, the boys have already safely tucked pies into their deep pockets. Both are wearing plaque-covered smiles as they stroll over the grass to God knows where. Suddenly, Peter turns around and asks me with genuine confusion. “Why did you want to know so much about us?” I’m busy with an English essay for school. Maybe it’s my guilt surfacing. Perhaps I’m just being a bit too clever for my own good. “I’m busy with an English essay for school” is all I managed to say before they turned around and disappeared around a corner.