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2006.11.16
Homeless children begging in the street - a typical scene in this neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. There are thousands of children like these living on the streets; extreme poverty and political instability are largely to blame. To make a living, many of them wash cars, while others become involved with armed gangs in hope of protection and a better chance to survive. Soundbite, English, Sylvana Nzirorera, UNICEF Haiti Communication Officer: “These children are deprived of affection and protection. They do not have access to food and education, and are constantly under the threat of all kinds of violence, including sexual abuse and exploitation. Amid the grim reality, this UNICEF-supported centre has been a ray of light for many children. Within the compound of the Lakou centre, they are free to be children again. Here, they are also given a chance to learn useful skills, like mechanics, and metal work. Some of them choose to learn hair dressing and tailoring. Soundbite, Creole, Father Attilio, Director of Lakou Centre: “Almost all the children who came to the centre are traumatized by bad experiences. They were treated badly. You can hardly find a child who doesn’t have a scar on his body. We invite them to the centre, and teach them vocational skills to prepare them for a better future.” The centre also runs a nursery, for the children of street children who became mothers at a very early age. Soundbite, Creole, Pierre Nana, 18, street mother: “I had my first child at 14, and I gave birth on the streets.” Soundbite, Creole, Azor Marienette, 20, street mother: “I have 3 children, the first was born when I was 16. This is my son, and he is 4 years old. I gave birth to them on the street.” Young women like these are the most vulnerable. Bad living condition and the dangerous nature of a street life have made them easy targets for sexual exploitation and HIV/AIDS. But the centre can only shelter them for so long. After of a few hours of peace and comfort, the need to make a living will once again drives these children and their mothers back to the streets. In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, this is Kun Li reporting for UNICEF. For every child, advance humanity. *** Asset Name : UNICEF: Grim reality for Haiti’s street children Asset Duration: 02 min 43 secs Shoot City: Port au Prince Shoot Country: Haiti Shoot Date: Sep 13 2005
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