Mahamadou, 12, is one of the growing number of children living on the streets in Niger. Subscribe to UNICEF here: http://bit.ly/1ltTE3m.
Every day, he collects iron scraps and tin cans in public waste and sells them to a local merchant. Children can earn 250 CAF Francs (approximately US$0.50 cents) for two kilos and use the money to buy cigarettes and glue.
“After three years, I dropped out of school. I had enough,” he explains. “Before I had other friends. Then I met those ones. When I was hanging out with them, I smelled the strong scent of glue. That’s how I started sniffing. Before all that, I was able to make some money that I brought home. Since I met those ones, we spend our time sniffing.”
Despite these hardships, he is moving toward a brighter future by attending SEJUP, a public service centre sponsored by the Government of Niger, UNICEF and its partners. For many children like Mahamadou, centres like these serve as their sole support structures.
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