Friday, April 11, 2008

The innocents

Just a few years ago, 80% of the children who ended up in Sudan's orphanages died from neglect – simply because they had been born out of wedlock.
But growing pressure has resulted in a recent fatwa that is starting to change all that, giving these youngsters a chance to shake off a deadly social stigma

LIKE so many babies at the Maygoma Orphanage in Khartoum, Nariman Siddiq Ahmed Ali was brought here the day after he was born, sickly and barely alive, weighing less than four pounds. Strangers found him in late February after he was dumped at the side of a road in a far-flung suburb of Sudan's booming capital. Almost certainly he was the product of an illicit union, the writhing, irrefutable evidence of adultery or fornication in a county where that could mean a lifetime of shame or even death – for the mother and the child.


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