Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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 La realite des enfants des rues, article du Sun-Sentinel

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MessageSujet: La realite des enfants des rues, article du Sun-Sentinel   Mar 28 Nov 2006 - 0:10

On the street

Life out here is tough: Surviving means begging, violence is rampant, and children make easy targets for gangs — and each other. As a generation of AIDS orphans comes of age throughout the Caribbean, the situation, already grave, likely will only worsen.

By Tim Collie
Sun-Sentinel, November 26, 2006

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti
-- In major Caribbean cities, thousands of children live on the streets, sleeping in parks, crypts and crumbling movie theater doorways. Over the past five years, their numbers have soared.

The children, without education, medical care or even shoes, become harder and harder to reach. In Haiti, they are easy recruits for the kidnap, drug and political gangs that plague Port-au-Prince. Kingston, Santo Domingo, Port of Spain -- the capitals of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad, respectively -- all cope with the same problems.

The growing number of street children is due in part to AIDS orphans coming of age. And the trend will likely continue. Women of childbearing age now comprise the population with the highest new infection rate.

Their children can easily slip into the downward spiral that starts when parents, and the nurturing they provide, disappear. Roughly 75 percent of children born to infected mothers are HIV free. National health outreach groups struggle to find ways to identify and treat the others.

Today, street kids are more violent, more prone to crime, according to experts who have tracked the trend over the years. They often carry weapons like razors, known here as gilettes, and sniff cobbler's glue, called ciment, which staves off hunger and puts them, as the children themselves say, in a "zombie-like" state.

Among the street children are these boys, who go to Centre d'Action Pour le Development for meals. International agencies and the Haitian government pay the center to feed 500 street children, as well as to house and educate 70 others.

Fritz Junior, 15:

"My mother is in the Dominican Republic. ... My father died of AIDS. My uncle was the one who told me. His hair was straight and fine, and he had a lot of sores all over his body. He would talk to me about it, but then one day he just laid in bed and died.

My uncle is now in New York. So now I live in the street. ... I wash cars, clean windows and make dice to sell out of dog bones.

Sometimes I get sick, a fever, a headache. And sometimes I have cramps when it's too cold in the street.

They abuse me, the older kids, the men. They burn you with matches when you sleep, melt plastic containers and pour them on you while you're sleeping. Sometimes they put matches in each of your toes while you're sleeping. And if you shake your leg, your clothes may catch on fire.

The bigger kids, they pour pepper in your eyes or take a stick and beat you. Sometimes they pour cold water on you. After they do that to me, I do the same to them. ...

I know kids who rape other kids. But it hasn't happened to me.

There's this one American here, he used to run a home. And he does try to have sex with the kids. He pays them. I used to live at his orphanage. ... But I had already left the orphanage because I saw he was bathing the young children and raping them.

He'd take them, bathe them, rape them and then give them money. That's the way it was. ... If my father was alive, I wouldn't be in the street ... .I remember when my father was alive. He'd feed us and send us to school."


Jerry, 12, whose last name is not being published because he is a rape victim:

"I was living with my stepmother. She beat me if I didn't do the dishes. I refused to wash dishes because I'm not a girl.

I ran away in September. I forget the year. When I ran away, I took 250 gourds [about $6]. And when I got in the street, friends asked me for the money, so I gave them some.

When I first got in the street, I got beaten up a lot. I'd eat, people would beat me for food. When I bought sandals, other kids beat me for the shoes.

When I was with my mother, I'd bathe every day. I'd eat three times a day. ...

There was a white guy [and a friend]. ... They went to a hotel with me. And they told me they'd give me $200 [for performing oral sex]. I ran away. But they chased me, caught me and had me do it. It was in the `Hotel One Dollar' in Petionville. And after they finished with me, they didn't give me the money.

This happened on Dec. 24th.

They found me and told me they were going to feed me. I never saw these white guys again."


Akim Jean Francois, 13:

"I didn't know when my mom died. I was living with relatives, my stepmother, and they were mistreating me. ... I decided to go to the street. I never went to school.

When I'm in the street, they burn me. They cut me with blades. They dropped cinder blocks on my face here ... .

There's a lot of AIDS on the street. All I know about it is what they say, that if you have sex with someone without a condom, you can get AIDS. You start throwing up, you get a fever, and you get real thin."


Emmanuel Petit-Homme, 13:

"I was in a center for a while, a center for street children, but they kicked me out in December. ...

The police are really rough on us. ... One time, a policeman shot two kids just for sleeping in the wrong place.

There's a lot of sex. We're paid for sex, the older kids, they always want to have sex with us.

There's this old woman. ... She'll have sex with us for 10 gourds [about 25 cents]. ...

When I see other people [with AIDS symptoms], other kids, and they offer me food, I don't take it. I know you can get AIDS from sharing the same food, the same drinks with people."


Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sfl-ostreet26nov26,0,1135174.story?coll=sfla-news-nationworld
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MessageSujet: Re: La realite des enfants des rues, article du Sun-Sentinel   Mar 28 Nov 2006 - 0:33

Ca me rappele la chanson d'Aznavour;"Les enfants de la guerre."Que c'est triste.Il serait mieux que j'aille me reposer . Bonsoir les amis.
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