Crouched down near the
manhole, Stas takes a defiant drag on his cigarette. His fingernails
are covered with dirt, his oversized green jacket dirty and torn.
He is 12 years old, and has been living on the streets of Kiev
for two years.
"My mother's an
alcoholic. She used to shout at me and hit me. She told
me she didn't want me. So I left. Now I live here, at
the manhole. I sleep on central heating pipes. The
police sometimes pick us up, but they let us out again."
Kiev is dotted with tiny
figures like Stas. They wander among the crowds begging
money or hang out near cafes or McDonalds searching the
trash for leftovers.
Often we see
children—some are just seven or eight years old—bury
their noses in plastic bags, sniffing glue to relieve
the hunger, fear and loneliness.
Stas is just
one of over 50,000 children living on the streets of
Kiev. At 12 years old they are already young adults who
know only negative experiences. Their hurts and
sicknesses sometimes cripple them and may lead to an
early death. Medical treatment is often not available.
brings hope and light into this hopelessness…
children in Ukraine
1 in 500 is homeless
1 in 100 is brought up in a broken family
1 in 100 is an invalid Reference:
Institute for Social Research Work Data