The “Tomato Can Kids“ are students of unregulated Koranic Boarding Schools in Mali. They usually consist of kids that look like this one. There are hundreds of them around my town. I’ve written about them several times already, so little more analysis is coming here.
This is only a reminder to never forget the angels.
In the hot afternoon sun these “angels” sleep by the dozens in the hallway and on the steps to my building. Daily I talk to them, greet them, walk around their sleeping bodies, or wade through flocks of them. After five years it is very easy to become numb or desensitized to their sever plight, due to familiarity.
All I know is these children are not really in school, it is a facade. If the children are actually taught a little in the mornings before being sent out to wander and beg for their food, money, for anything for that matter, it is to memorize and recite Arabic Koranic verses, while no other subject is taught. They simply wander most of the day, begging. Anything you give them is taken back to their teacher anyway, the kids keep nothing.
“It is dangerous to ask for advice. It is even more dangerous to give advice.” – Paulo Coelho
What I do know is this;
Kids in boarding schools should not be begging,
laying asleep on the streets,
“Old beggars in stories are never really old beggars,” Simmon said with a hint of accusation in his voice. “They’re always a witch or a prince or an angel or something.”
“In real life old beggars are almost always old beggars,” I pointed out.
(Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear. The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)