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post Street Teens Struggle

November 8th, 2009

Filed under: Life Stroies — Lissan Magazine @ 22:32

Kenya’s street teens struggle to survive
By David McKenzie, CNN

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) — On a wet dawn in Nairobi, Kenya, Joan stands on a grubby patch of concrete she calls home.
As shopkeepers tear open their iron shutters to start their day, she gingerly touches her bruised face with her fingertips. Even for a hardened street teenager like Joan it’s been a rough night.
“Living in the streets, especially if you are a girl, is very risky,” says Joan, age 19. “You can be raped any day, any time, by anyone who wants to do it.”

Joan became the target of one of those predators just one night earlier when she says an older street kid tried to rape her. In a monotone voice she describes how he mercilessly beat her with his fists and heavy boots when she resisted. Joan spent the rainy night in pain lying on her flattened cardboard box.
This is Joan’s reality. It is a reality she shares with thousands of others. More than 60,000 children and youth live on Nairobi’s streets, according to various charity groups. Tens of thousands are at risk of ending up there. Unlike some other cities in Africa, Nairobi’s street people aren’t always visible. They are banished to the gray industrial parts of the city, often harassed by police, business owners and ordinary citizens.

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Source: CNN

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