It was a cloudy day.
A day after Timket celebration. Addis seemed more calmed than the usual. We were driving around Urael and encountered a young woman who was begging for money in the traffic lights. She carried a baby that doesn’t even start to walk. We stopped by the traffic light and didn’t want to give too much attention to her. The government had passed a new law about begging in the main street. Drivers or passengers, who give money while stopped up in the traffic light, will be punished surpassing the traffic regulation. I didn’t dare to give money to her. I usually don’t give money for kids or young beggars in the street – Not even before the law was effective. I personally don’t believe that this solves the problem of these people in need. On contrary it is going to make it worse. That’s why the number of street kids quite increased in the last few years. People tend to give money to kids in the street and the kids stopped looking for other options.
But what took our whole attention is that the woman didn’t seem related to the baby at all. It was clear enough to see that the baby is not hers. This is the moment I heard the shocking news from a friend. There are indeed babies rented in Addis. It is possible to rent a baby to use it for begging. I was wondering. How much are you willing to borrow your baby? Five birr in an hour? Do they also “produce” lots of babies to increase their income? What will be the future of the babies? Will some of them talk one day that their life began being rented?
Before answering one of these questions, I reached my destination.
Oh, one more question. Does the rent include breastfeeding?