actual numbers are not known but in recent years the
rise has been relentless with some agencies reporting an
additional 40 children arriving on the streets each day.
(A recent survey found 3000 kids begging on the streets
of the country's commercial capital Blantyre with
similar numbers in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.)
But the streets of the capital Lilongwe
are not paved in anything but further poverty, save for the
large numbers of government and humanitarian aid workers who
These children are at risk of exploitation through poverty,
disease, lack of education and life prospects, but more odiously
they are at risk of sexual exploitation as the above short video
It is difficult to fully understand what it feels like to be
a street child who believes no-one has any interest in you at
all, so when someone comes along showing a hint of affection,
these street kids willingly follow and the danger begins.
these dangers are very real, as one fourteen year old boy
recounts "It was on Wednesday around midnight when two men
entered our shelter and asked for a space to sleep,” he
“Almost immediately they produced knives and ordered me to
undress. When I tried to protest they threatened to kill me if I
refused or shouted out”. The boy was then repeatedly abused.