Helio Chichava, a 14-year-old from Maputo, Mozambique, showers before a Sunday meal hosted by a foreign worker from a nongovernmental organization. Photographer Mario Macilau, a Maputo native, shot photos of Helio and other children who live on the streets of the capital city.
Two young boys sleep on a floor in a Maputo squatter settlement. Street children live as nomads, moving from one point to the next with nothing but a little bit of water and hand towels with which to wash cars.
Stairs create shadows on the walls of an abandoned old building in downtown Maputo. There are no toilets, and water must be drawn from a nearby source.
Police invade an abandoned building in which street children live, Macilau said.
Street children hide from the rain in an abandoned old car in downtown Maputo.
A 15-year-old boy smokes with his friends in Maputo.
Street children generally do not believe that their identity has anything to do with the names given to them by their parents, Macilau said. When they arrive on the streets, many develop new identities that are tied to their interests and things they like. "My name is Cowboy because I like to dress like cowboys," said this 14-year-old. "I know my hat is different from the ones they wear, but I try my best to be like them with what I can get."
A child plays soccer in his home in the abandoned Vila Algarve building.
Emilio Maluleke, 14, sits in the abandoned building where he stays in downtown Maputo.