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Published on Jan 1, 2011
Geoffrey Edichung was a street boy in Kitale, Kenya. Geoffrey lost his parents when he was 8 years old. He has lived alone with a group of boys on the streets of Kenya most of his life. He begged for food in the market place, he gathered charcoal to earn pennies to make money and would sometimes steal or beat up other boys to get the money they may have acquired on their own. Geoffrey was our friend.
Geoffrey always had a smile on his face. His smile belied the hunger in his belly and the pain in his heart. When he knew we were in town he would clean up, go to church and promise to get off the glue. He knew that we hated the glue and what it did to him and the other boys he shared life with on the streets. Geoffrey was one of the boys filmed in the documentary "Glue Boys", which chronicles the lives of 6 boys who live on the streets of Kenya, sniffing glue to ease the pain of their difficult existence. This documentary also tracks the chain of manufacture to distribution from the multinational corporations that produce, market and distribute the glue knowing full well that it is sold to millions of street kids living and dying around the world because of their consumption of glue and the resulting destruction to their brains and bodies. (Check it out at GlueBoys.com)
Geoffrey used glue to survive. It brought him warmth, a pretend sense of comfort and fullness helping him to believe that he was strong, powerful and able to withstand whatever the streets might bring. His last day on the streets he spent with his friends, who were more like his family, boys who lived with him struggling to survive just like he was. They decided they would find some fun by swimming in the local dam. Of course they started their adventure by sniffing glue...so much glue that when Geoffrey dove into the dam, he never surfaced. Geoffrey, like so many street kids before him....and so many more to come....died as a result of the life he lived....sniffing glue to ease his pain.
There are 150 million more children just like Geoffrey that live on the streets of our world. Numbing their minds, bodies and senses with the daily dose of glue they inhale. They sell whatever they have to get it....they sell their bodies and their souls so they can numb themselves from the horror of their daily life. The horrors of nonstop hunger, loneliness, loss, beatings, sexual assaults, and every form of inhumanity that man is capable of demonstrating towards another human being. The Geoffreys of the world have no parents to protect them. No family to stand beside them and come to their defense. No one to teach and guide them. No one to provide a moral compass for their lives. They have each other....and they have the glue that kills them.