The man on the phone was offering us young children with the casualness of a market trader. After a week of back and forth phone calls, his initial caginess had given way to greed. He’d heard my foreign accent and clearly decided I would pay more than the domestic rate.
“We can get,” he said.
We’d been put in touch with the man through a contact on the ground. We were told he was one of the men running this “unofficial” displaced camp — one of the many that has mushroomed in the town of Yola as the influx of people fleeing Boko Haram has grown beyond the capacity of the official camps.
It had all been heartbreakingly simple. We’d asked who had children available to “foster” — a catch-all code word designed to conceal the true intent of those offering up the orphaned children. The man on the phone…
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