The Glue boys
"Some of us came into this world trough the back door. Our lives are in stark contrast, yet we see the same stars. We are not so different after all".
These are the words from one of the glue boys in the streets of Kitale in Kenya. Happiness, sorrow and hope are all proportional to our own environment. At the garbage tip in Kitale many children spend their days looking for food. Some of them may have a mother or father that is incapable of taking care of them and some may be orphans. During the cold nights a lot of them sleep under a piece of plastic. In order to forget about the hunger and chilly winds at night they turn to glue, which they inhale in order to forget. Their world is very different from mine and they have to grow up too fast and learn how to survive in a harsh world. These people form intimate and caring relationships amongst each other, because they have never been loved by the outside world. Even if someone manages to get out of the streets, the love for the children left behind never fades. They always return to the streets to help and care for these children.
As I grew up in Kenya, I got to see the best of both worlds. In the middle of what we in Finland would call misery, I found nothing but joy and I couldn't help but think that many of us have a lot to learn from the children of Kenya's streets.
The series is taken by Sofia Jern in Kitale, Kenya in February 2016 and is consisting of nine photographs. This series won the Sony Awards Student Focus competition by World Photo Organization 2016.