The life before Rehabilitation and school
Every former street child you ask about their life on the streets will respond with one word: hard. The always present question "what will happen tomorrow?", lack of food, shelter, and money makes them do extreme things. It is not only the typical pickpocketing but also threatening the target with a knife.
Every child has a different reason why they left home but in almost every case abuse is part of it. Once being on the streets they discover their freedom in every way. It does not matter whether you are 5 or 16 years old, drugs and alcohol are sorts of a daily ritual. Not taking drugs is seen as a weakness and you automatically become an outcast. As an individual, there are no rules and they do whatever whenever they want. Even though it is difficult to make friends once you got them they are probably a bad influence encouraging you to keep stealing.
Being harassed by the police, the constant search for food and money and the fear of being abused certainly does not make this life easy. Instead of trying to help, the government looks away. So they help themselves. Somewhere in town, a basement exists where families and children can live in their own space. In that area are some rules: you are not allowed to enter someone else's space without permission, you shall not steal from another poor person.
In this building, there is a strong sense of unity. If someone becomes sick everyone tries to give some money in order to get treatment. The older ones cook so the younger ones have at least one meal a day.
In addition to them being really organized some hotels and restaurants pack their leftover food into paper bags so the children can pick them up. But despite all that, sleeping next to dustbins and taking drugs in order to be strong is not a life a child or anyone should live.