A cruel situation

All around the capital of Senegal, you will see children begging. For many tens of thousands, this is their life.

Clutching begging bowls, the children hope passers-by will fill their bowls. But often they receive very little and many street beggars are malnourished.

Some of these children have been sent by their parents to the capital. Here, they live with a Marabout, a religious teacher from whom they learn the Koran. The children follow an age-old practice of collecting coins on the street for their Marabout to pay for their learning. But this system can easily be used to exploit the children.

Some of Dakar's street children are orphans or beggars. With a third of the population surviving on less than a dollar a day, widespread poverty means that thousands of children are left to fend for themselves.

At the rubbish dump

The rubbish dump you see in the video is where beggar children go to look for food scraps, clothes or any items they can sell. The children often scour the rubbish with nothing on their feet.

This smelly place is on the doorstep of people’s homes, but nothing is done by local officials. So the rubbish gets higher and the children keep coming.

It's hard to see so many children living this kind of life. Watch the video and find out what simple item one boy asks for when he goes out begging.