Farah is a 22 year old girl, but she looks younger since she is small and always curled up on herself. We met her for the first time in May 2009, on a site called Assiut N. She always stood apart from the group of children on this site, sniffing glue and refusing any contact with our team.
It took almost two months to gain her trust. One evening she asked the social worker to sit beside her and started to talk to him freely about herself. Her parents divorced when she was very young. Her father took her away from her mother and burned her hair to make her beg in the street. In fact, she left home when she was 10 and, from that day, lived on the street. She loves her mother but she does not live with her because she disapproves of the boy Farah is living with in the street, and her mother’s family – who is very traditional – would kill her if they knew she already has a child.
Farah lives on the street with a group of young adults, she depends on them for food as well as for drugs, she sniffs glue and takes medication. She changes her place of living according to circumstances, police raids, complaints from the public, but generally ends up in unhygienic places.
We lost contact with Farah for about two months when she was in prison. She has been recently released and we saw her again in January. Lately, she has become more sociable and speaks more willingly with the team of her life, of her desires. She asked us to help her get an ID card so she could officially get married and stay with her family, and thus leave the street.
* The child’s first name and the names of places were changed to protect his identity.