Somali NGOs Want Help for Mogadishu Street Children

Ignored by the new state


The muezzin calls for afternoon prayer. A small boy wearing torn trousers and a dirty, brown oversized T-shirt rushes from a shed. Holding a rusty paint tin, he stands at the entrance to Isbahaysiga mosque in Mogadishu, a short distance from Somalia's partially rebuilt houses of parliament.

Ali Noor is 10. He has been working as a shoe shiner for three years, and the tin he is carrying holds the rudimentary tools of his trade – a sponge, brush and shoe polish. Friday's midday prayers draw the biggest congregation; for Ali, this is the best time to earn a living.