Streetchildren Around The Stage in Kisumu, Kenya Part 1

by Ian Maclellan

I went out this morning at 4 with Ben who has worked with streetchildren in Kisumu, Kenya for 16 or so years. We also got guidance from an “ex-streetchild” Gordon who was taught by Ben some years back. Very enlightening experience, I now understand more of the intracacies of homeless geography, “jobs”, and where all the drugs come from. We decided to focus primarily at the bus stage, where more of the newer arrivals into the street world live. The kids living here primarily work on cleaning the buses and streets in the morning, spending very little time begging. Since I was with two people who already knew everyone I talked to and photographed, everyone was very welcoming and comfortable with my presence. This is the sort of project that becomes extremely difficult if you try and do it on your own. Besides the fact that there is a huge language barrier, there are safety issues for both the kids and me. Many of the streetchildren have been through very difficult circumstances and guides are very useful for gauging sensitivity and who to talk to and when to move on. This morning is particular was interesting because the day before the police went through and temporarily arrested around 50 street children because Raila and Kibaki are in town…

These are some quick small versions of some pictures. I haven’t looked through everything I shot yet so will be posting more once I have time to actually edit. I’m focusing on writing a different story today, so it may be a few days before I can put up other pictures. I plan on going back again tomorrow evening before everyone goes to bed, to talk to some more people and maybe focus in on the stories of one or two kids.

I’ve decided the hardest part about photographing at these random dark hours is not the long exposures, but focusing…

kisumu kenya homeless streetkid