It is unfortunate that, most people think of street children to be prodigal sons and daughters who are thought to have left their homes due to bad behavior or are orphans without guardians and little attention is ever paid to their stories.
Street children in Rusizi district say that no child just wake up and leaves home for the street without a sound reason.
Some street children (disadvantaged) in a restless mood
Young Emmanuel about 15 years old has been on the street for two years, know only one name ‘Emmanuel’ and he say: “My parents separated and both remarried. My step mother mistreated me and whenever I went to live with my mother, it was not okay for me as she was always full of hatred for me because my father had chased her away”
Other many street children told us collectively that they had left their homes due to poverty that always left them hungry, so they went on streets in search of food.
However, there are some orphan children with guardians who leave home for streets just because they do not get along well with their guardians.
Although the Government of Rwanda embarked on transforming lives of street kids by providing shelter, care, medical and education, most kids refuse to leave streets once they have tested the so ‘called free gang’s life’ and the end result is engaging in drug use and criminal acts like robbery so as to survive.
In terms of food, these children survive on leftover foods from the restaurants which they buy at 100 Rwf a plate. Street children earn little money by begging. Whether some get coins and others do not get anything for the whole day, they share food or borrow coins from each other.
Many of those Street children we met have request Rwandese to help them if they are able but not to think of them as prodigal children because some of them do not like the street life they are leaving.