Skip to main content
"I smoke, I sniff so it helps me absorb my troubles"

"I smoke, I sniff so it helps me absorb my troubles"

Not far from the posh Skylight Hotel in Bole, a 13 year old, along his friends is sniffing glue. Next to him is even a younger sibling, an 11 year old who begs for enough resources to supply his urge for what has been a growing phenomenon among destitute young people in what has become a growing city of concrete with little safety nets for the poorest and often the youngest victims who are fast being left behind.

"I smoke, I sniff so it helps me absorb my troubles and makes me envision the life I want to live but in midst of misery, the only hiding place I have is the glue", the 13 year old told Detail Ethiopia.

"I literally grew up on the street and grew up young and with little to offer, nobody was willing to give me opportunities so somehow I followed the crowd and here I am", he added; sniffing and showing an aging face in a youthful face that seems have seen much.   His friend is no different.

"I am a broken person with little means. I eat when I can but with any money I earn from begging, I buy cigarettes, glue or what ever I can", he says as he follows a shiny pickup truck that pulls out with a foreign face that hands them money. 

In Addis Ababa, every has been much effort to help young, homeless people under former mayor, Takele Uma but the idea died on the trial stage, like many initiates that start ambitious and die when funding dwindles. 

A restaurant that asked to stay anonymous told Detail Ethiopia there has been issues of safety with all the children begging, stealing and harassing customers while the police standby and watch.

"We are being forced to relocate, some are just closing down because of them. We organized to feed them with our leftover but the underline issue is addiction, not charity", he said.