Street Children in Peru

The presence of street children on the streets of Lima is an issue that has been highlighted by a Peruvian NGO, Red Alert. Like many Latin American cities Lima is a burgeoning megapolis that acts as a magnet for the poor who live in the rural areas of Peru. Many children and young people make their way to the city in the hope of finding work. Children leave home because of poverty, violence and trafficking. For many, leaving home to go to live on the streets is an option. For others their situation is caused by circumstances completely beyond their control.

Carlos, a boy living on the streets of Lima, is fairly typical. His story is found on the World Street Children News blog:

Carlos, 10, who arrived from the Peruvian mountains to work on the streets of San Juan of Lurigancho during his school holidays is just one of the children who had been helped by the Red Alert team.

At first he cleaned cars. Later he sold sweets and sang songs on the buses to earn a little money. When his holiday ended and it was time to go home, he did not have enough money for his return fare. With no money for rent, he had to look for a park bench to sleep on. He was in great danger of becoming a street child permanently.

Two days passed, until he was found by one of the Red Alert team who look out for new arrivals on the street. Carlos is now part of a residential home programme and is being helped to find his family and return home.

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