Advertisement

Driven down

CITY OF LOST CHILDREN:

August 01, 2008

Some stories are too compelling, too wrenching, not to tell.

This — years in the making — is one of them.

Daily Pilot photographer Kent Treptow visited Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, and the coldest capital in the world, to tell the tale of children living in manholes to stay warm.

In the words of Treptow, “An enduring legacy of the communist downfall is the phenomenon of Mongolian street children … sent to the city by destitute parents in the countryside. Thousands ended up homeless, abandoned by parents who could no longer care for them or relatives who barely knew them. Alcoholic fathers and abusive families led many children to flee on their own.”

Advertisement

The children live in manholes littered with rat feces and cockroaches. They rummage through trash for scraps of food. Many are malnourished or sick from eating bad meat. Others, as young as 7, drink. The girls live in fear of sexual assaults. Hope is an abstract in this underground society.

But they also sing, laugh, look out for each other and fight with remarkable resilience and resourcefulness to live to see another day.

For videos, photos and the full story, click here.


Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|