Children in Khartoum are nurtured and cherished. Even in the humblest family, the parents will see to their children's needs first before caring for themselves. However, as everywhere in the world and especially in cities, there are homeless and orphaned children. At the traffic lights there are regularly young children begging; we often encounter children with physical handicaps. We have a muslin bag filled with coins which hangs on the cigarette lighter and which we hand out to these poor unfortunate youngsters. It's not unusual to see a lad sliding along on his bottom between the vehicles, wearing rubber slip-slops on his hands for protection. And only last week we saw one with only one arm. Are these poor children without family or have they been sent out to beg for their daily bread because the parents (or parent, many single parents in Khartoum) cannot do otherwise?
This little guy has obviously just begun to toddle and was making his way across the road to his not-much-older siblings
These boys are playing marbles in the middle of the road. This is in an industrial area with leanto's and makeshift shelters (such as the wooden structure in the left of the photo) which are used as homes
A cartload of children in an industrial area of Omdurman. The orange building in the background is the flour factory/mill and there are no homes in this area, so I wonder whether these youngsters even have a roof over their heads
The children in our neighbourhood are all housed and live within a proper family structure. You often see children playing in the street or walking to the dukani/street cafe alone as the Sudan is a safe place for children and women
These two children live a little way up the side street below our balcony. They were on their way to the dukani/street cafe around the corner
These three boys, who posed for me at the dukani/street cafe, live in a double storey home the main road past our apartment.
Above a trio of older scholars wait for the school bus to collect them. As in South Africa, the children in Khartoum all wear school uniforms; different uniforms depict different schools and or grade levels
Here a boy holds his sister's hand while walking with her to the "bus stop" in front of our apartment. The older girl ran back home (further up the side street below our balcony) to fetch a forgotten item, Her dad/grandad is carrying the absent girl's backpack
The boy and his three sisters wait in front of our apartment for the bus to collect them
Two little girls playing a skipping game in the street outside their house...
...while their little sister watches from the doorway
The same little girls dressed up and having a tea party on the sidewalk
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The Arabic word for school is Mdrsh (Madressa)
The Arabic word for school children is Mdrsh ʼŢfāl (Madressa teefaal - literally school of children)