Saturday, 28 September 2013


There is a report on the blog PNG Attitude that paints a false picture of street kids in Port Moresby. It was written by one Francis S. Nii whose disability prevents him from travelling around Port Moresby to see the real picture. Please click:

The street people for whom there is no tomorrow

There are not hordes of starving children from the age of 6 years searching for food and small amounts of money.  There are often gangs of well-fed 11 year olds hanging around Big Rooster Chicken to demand food or money from customers.

If they manage 5 donations of food a day, they are well fed. The food is usually distributed among the gang. Some go through food shop bins for left over food which will often bring a rich haul.

Some men live their day around food shops to pounce on any polystyrene containers placed in the bin. Again a rich haul.

Street boys often have families, even orphans. Many 8 year old boys form gangs with older boys and do not come home to sleep and eat. It is more fun on the street.

In traditional Melanesian culture, parents push their boys out into the peer group. It is their rite of passage. Survive there from 8 years old, they will survive into adulthood.

They never go to school. Those who are given school lunch money will use often to buy cigarettes.

I had a young boy at my house, brought home by my youngest daughter. He would wear his uniform to school and then go off with his gang and his lunch money. Not any more. His teacher said he had not been to school all term.

There is a new sales technique for groups of boys selling to drivers stopped at traffic lights. If betel nut is banned, the trick will be to sell on the run. The city rangers will never catch a gang of 11 year olds.

I tend to growl at boys demanding money from me.

Young female orphans can often be used by their extended family as the house Cinderella. Of course there is prostitution, partricularly among teenagers who go to nightclubs.

Francis Nii has written much good work on PNG Attitude. But this time, he is off the track. Nevertheless, there is not a good future for these kids. But that is the same the world over.

No comments:

Post a Comment