Morocco's street children suffer a lot. Their life is filled with drugs, crime, and bitterness. Unfortunately, efforts made to reintegrate them into society and their families went with the wind. Most Moroccan experts strongly confirmed the fact that the problem is complicated and its roots lie in ignorance, poverty, and difficult social circumstances.

Mohamed, a Moroccan child, left home and school at an early age (15 years old ) to live in the street. He no longer wants to see his poor old mother fight a daily battle to get food for his four siblings and his ill father who barely can talk and move because of a car accident he had last year.

Quick interview with a street child in Morocco

Jamal (BN): ''Why did you leave school, Mohamed?''

Mohamed (M): replying with a fake smile hiding a lot of pain and untold sad stories: ''My mother can't pay my school expenses. Living in the street was not my choice whatsoever, but I have to live in it.'

BN: ''Do you have a message to other children who want to live in the street?''

M:''The street is absolutely not a better place to live in, I chose to live in it because now at least I'm sure that my mother won't have to worry about my daily living. I take care of myself, I'm able to help her though."

Harsh daily realities

Minutes after this quick interview, I followed Mohamed to see where he works.

He works as a carrier. He carries bags of vegetables along with other purchases at a market. He also sells plastic bags to customers. By doing this, he can earn few dirhams (Moroccan currency) a day.

The fact is, Mohamed is one of the growing numbers of street children in Morocco. These are the homeless and marginalized youths without family or identity.

Unfortunately, the public gardens, sidewalks, and the building doorsteps are their beds.

In Rabat, the capital of Morocco, these children's main residences are alleys in the old city, the train station, the port and the fruit and vegetable wholesale market. The port also provides these children with a potentially valuable opportunity to emigrate illegally to Europe and have a better life.

What's more, the wholesale market gives them the chance to work as porters. At the train station, they may earn few Dirhams for helping passengers or simply by begging from tourists.

According to the Moroccan official statistics, 9.000 street children live in Rabat and 10.000 more live in other major cities such as Casablanca, Agadir, Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat, Tangier and Meknes. Recently, the Moroccan government, along with non-governmental organisations adopted a new strategy of building extra centers to shelter at least some of these children and try to efficiently reintegrate them into their families and schools.

It's worth mentioning that the challenge is enormous as the number of children exceeds the centers' capacities; there are not enough beds for all of them, that's why swift measures should be taken and the need to act at once is urgent. These children need to be saved as a life on the street is no way for a child to grow up.