DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: SUPPORT AND FAMILY REINSERTION FOR YOUNG STREET GIRLS



Program details

Purpose:
- Contribute to a long-term social reinsertion for 47 girls living in Kinshasa's streets
- Participate to provide them with care and access to education

Period: 2013-2014

  Beneficiaries:
47 young street girls aged 9 to 22 years old

Budget: 25 000 Euros

Partner:
Vivre et Travailler Autrement (VTA) centre



Context

In a country where 87% of the population live with a less than 2$ a day income, it is estimated that more than 20 000 children currently live in Kinshasa's streets - exposed to extreme poverty, disease, insecurity and various violences.

That preoccupying situation is partially explained by the degradation of the country's economic situation and the outbreak of armed conflicts - children remaining their main victims. Orphaned, abandoned or forced to work in the street, these children have no access to healthcare nor education.

The increasing number of children living in the capital's streets also explains by the spreading of the witch-children phenomenon. Poverty, lack of basic services, disease, loss of a job, death of a relative... are all reasons for which many families accuse their own children of witchcraft and of alliance with the demon.

Deeply fixed in minds, this conviction reveals the fear some parents feel towards their own children, that they hold responsible for the difficulties they have to deal with and the toughness of their lives. The "witch children" have lost their child status to become demons, evil flesh-eating creatures, dangerous for their relatives...

This is one of the reasons why the children live in fear and defiance - so much that the street and its dangers start to look like a better alternative. Some of them even claim that witch position, so they can use it like a threat to protect themselves and take controll of their life back. By considering themselves as cannibalistic witches, they can escape the life in the streets and the threats they have to overcome.

More than 50% of the street children appear to be young girls aged 9 to 17 years old, forced to prostitute for survival. These young girls are extremely vulnerable in a moral, affective, psychological, alimentary and educative way.

Many local associations fight day after day against this phenomenon. Created at the end of the 90ies, the Réseau des Educateurs des Enfants et Jeunes de la Rue (REEJER), with the support of Auteuil International, partner of AMADE Mondiale, is a platform that coordinates more than 160 bodies active for Kinshasa's street children. Their activities include public awareness, lobbying to local authorities, prevention and mediation with the families, social care (education, healthcare) and socio-professional reinsertion of the children.

Among these local efforts, AMADE Mondiale chose to support the Vivre et Travailler Autrement (VTA) centre (To live and work in another way) that provides accommodation, care, professional and family reinsertion for young street deprived girls. AMADE Mondiale's commitment follows the journey of H.R.H. The Princess of Hanover in Kinshasa on last June, during which the Princess met with several local stakeholders around street children, and shared some special moments with the beneficiaries.
 

Activities and expected results

The young girls fostered by the centre receive global care including accommodation, medical care, basic literacy and levelling, which allows them to access the regular scholar course thereafter.

VTA centre pays a particular attention to the beneficiaries' food safety. When they arrive at the centre, the girls are most of time in a state of severe malnutrition and weakening, frequently complicated with delayed growth and deficiencies.

The support of AMADE Mondiale will guarantee a healthy and balanced diet for 30 young girls by purchasing food adapted to their specific needs. Their nutritional health will be regularly followed-up.

AMADE Mondiale will also support access to education for 17 girls reunified with their families. Aged 12 to 22 years old, they now live with their relatives but may end up in an out-of-school situation once again because the family cannot afford their regular scholarship. The program will make sure they are able to continue their education beyong their accommodation within the centre, whose educator will remain in permanent contact with the public school teachers and the families.



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Enfants Syrie

 

 
 

 

 

 

Agenda

 

 
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