Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Children of the city

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

For more other people's worlds click here

The Arabic word for school is Mdrsh (Madressa)
The Arabic word for school children is Mdrsh ʼŢfāl (Madressa teefaal - literally school of children)


  1. Delightful children, Jo, doing the things children do everywhere. Except, maybe, the donkey cart. I dunno about that.
    Perhaps if I hadn't spent a lot of time in Mexico, I would worry about the kids-in-the-street pictures, but I know children can be loved and adored and still play in the street.
    Now that I think about it, when my brother and I were children in British Columbia, we had a nice yard, our friends had nice yards, and we'd play hockey in the street. I'd forgotten about that. We liked to play in the back lanes, too.
    Meanwhile, I've discovered some of your baby budgie stories. I never could find the second half of the story about buying the cage, but I found pictures of the almost-grown babies. Delightful!!
    -- Kay

  2. Oh what precious children. I enjoy seeing kids playing and waiting for the bus, just like kids here. Great shots of so many kids, Jo!

  3. Precious children indeed! And what wonderful photos you have to share with us, Jo! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into a very different world, but children do tend to be the same everywhere in the way they deal with their daily world. I think they are probably a lot more adaptable than we adults! I lived in Mexico for over a year and found pretty much the same things that Kay found -- kids are kids, wherever! Always enjoy and appreciate the chance to see your world! Have a wonderful week!


  4. Delightful shots of children playing, but very sad to see some of them on the streets begging.

  5. It's always nice to see the children of the world. It is gratifying to know how loved and cared for the children of Khartoum are; at least those with families. As for the orphans or the children forced into labour far beyond what they should be due to their life's tragic circumstances, well, now that is just heartbreaking. Unfortunately we see that all over the world. Great post, Jo!

  6. Lovely to see a mixed bag of sweet little children, pity all are not quite so lucky. One does wonder about the story behind the beggar children, after all they must eat and sleep somewhere, there must surely be some parental figure in their lives. Poor little beggars!
    Lovely that the children are all safe to wander around though.

  7. i worry about the little kid that's just starting to toddle. very nice photos of kids doing what they love most..playing.

  8. It is so very sad to see orphaned children begging and having no home to go to and no one to love them.

    In India and Sri Lanka we have seen crippled children begging all over the place, even a baby with all four limbs missing on a rag on the ground in a busy, crowded market hoping to have a few coins thrown down.
    We also heard that the very poor also maine their own children so that people will feel even more sorry for them and the parents will cash in on more donations.
    Am almost unimaginably horrifying situation.

  9. Lovely , sensitive pictures of children in a different culture but still doing similar things to children the world over.

  10. Hi Jo, I'm trying to catch up on blogs this week... I enjoyed reading all of your posts I have missed. The two on prayer were excellent. Thanks!!!

    Love seeing all of your sunset/moon/sunrise pictures also... Gorgeous...

    I wondered when Shadow was going to get interested in the birdies....

    Children across the world bring me to my knees. I know that there are many who are well-cared-for. But I also know that many are in so much NEED. My heart goes out for these orphans and handicapped children.. God Be with Them.

  11. And Jesus loves them all [children]...You captured the reality of what some children go through. But even here in America, some of them go through the same hardships. God bless.

  12. What a nice reportage about the children in Khartoum. As everywhere in these countries the difference between rich and poor is very very big. There is only a very small part of the middle class. In Egypt it is exactly the same with the children. Especially in big cities, not that much on the country side.

  13. I agree that children are the same all over the world especially when it comes to play. And its nice to know that its safe there for women and children.

    Wonderful photos and post, Jo.

  14. Thanks for the great portraits of these children. Sad to hear of those who may be homeless or living in very poor circumstances. The children near your home seem much like children everywhere, rushing to the bus stop, skipping, having tea parties.

  15. Thanks for taking us along. Love visiting your country and learning about it. It is so intersting to see your part of the world.

  16. Bless the children of the world. You have captured some wonderful images.
    ☼ Sunny


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo