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The street children of Ulaanbaatar have found many ways to survive on the streets.

Some children manage to buy brushes, some polish and a footstool so they can run a shoe shine business. A child can sometimes make about 1,000 tugrug (just over NZ$2) a day, enough to feed themselves, but they have to take care that other children don't steal their equipment.

Other children "guard" rich people's cars, charging a fee to stop others from damaging the cars. If the car owner won't pay, they will damage the car themselves.

Tourists are another source of money. Children beg for cash, or pick tourists' pockets. Even the locals can be worth stealing or begging from. Some shops in the markets give children food or old meat bones to scrape the last scraps of meat from. As a last resort, children look for food in the city's rubbish bins.

They usually have just the clothes they are wearing, so they can't change or wash them, but they sometimes manage to wash themselves at a local bath-house, or in a river in summer. If they have a coat or blanket which they aren't using, they might keep it in their hole during the day, and get it out at night when they go to their summer sleeping place.

In this way children manage to survive.


Why Street Children | Why do they come to the Streets
Where do they Sleep | How do they Live