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Separated from his family, 12 year old Thomas dreams of waking up safely back at home, not all alone, scared and shivering in a shop doorway.
When night falls over Addis Ababa, the heat of the day quickly fades and the temperature plummets to near freezing. Thomas will spend the next ten hours fighting the biting cold. He says, "I can’t bear the cold at night".
As he struggles to stay warm, Thomas knows he must keep on his guard. The streets are a dangerous place for a child to be alone and someone Thomas’s size can easily fall victim to gangs who beat up, rob, and even rape children.
Every sound is a potential attack. Thomas is lucky if he makes it through the night safely.
This has been Thomas’s life since he tried to escape the poverty of his village, where crops fail and food is in very short supply. The city promised a new life, free from the daily struggle to survive. But there is no work and Thomas earns next to nothing. So every night he is forced to make an unavoidable decision – to buy food or find a safe bed for the night. It is no decision a boy his age should have to make.
Your donations help children like Thomas who are without the protection of a family.
Every night, teams of social workers, funded by your donations, go out onto the streets to find children like Thomas. Gradually, over time, we build childrens' trust so that they’ll come to EveryChild-supported safe houses. From there, we try to trace their families and reunite them with their parents. This is just one of the ways that EveryChild helps the world’s most marginalised children.