Yee Yee, 2 years old,
former street child
Despite her young age, Yee Yee’s story is already remarkable. In her two years of life, she has been cared for by five different women and girls, including in prison. She was recently reunited with her family.
When she was just a few months old, Yee Yee and her sister were placed in the care of their aunt. Unemployed and therefore unable to look after her two girls, their mother was forced to leave to work in a massage parlour, an industry notorious for sexual exploitation. When she returned home, her daughters (then aged 1 and 11) had disappeared and she had no way of finding them. The two girls had in fact run away to escape their aunt’s beatings. They wound up living rough, but the elder of the two was soon arrested and placed in foster care. She left Yee Yee in the care of a young girl also living on the streets, who then entrusted her to another woman. She was also arrested, however, and Yee Yee was left in the hands of a beggar woman.
A social worker managed to find Yee Yee. She was still in the care of the beggar woman, but both were in prison. The prison authorities were alerted to the situation and allowed Yee Yee and her mother to be reunited. Yee Yee is now receiving support to help her readapt to living with her mother. Terre des hommes is also working to help Yee Yee’s elder sister to obtain an apprenticeship so that she may improve her artistic talents.
Not her real name