Friday, June 21, 2013

DR Congo: The Street Kids of Goma

Charly Carolüs Kasereka blogs at L'ACTU DU KIVU

I have run the original French text through Google Translate and have also tried to iron out the kinks that inevitably occur. I apologise to Charly if I have stuffed up his emphasis or meaning by doing so.


More than 5000 children living outside the family home in my city. This phenomenon arises from 1994 with the massive influx of refugees fleeing the Rwandan genocide.
The situation is exacerbated following multiple wars caused by various armed groups operating in the eastern DRC.

Other causes

The poverty of parents who can no longer meet the needs of their offspring and the lack of jobs is one of the causes.
Several other reasons lead these children mostly under 17 years to be on the street. Some are there because their parents are separated, the death of a parent where orphans are assigned to a family member who already has his own burden to him, but also a bad education, parents living in very difficult conditions are often absent and away from home to educate their offspring.

                                       Young boys who draw water

A life on the streets

Children from broken families commonly called'' May'' or'' BOBO'' Shégué live by begging, stealing, and others are hard at work (emptying public trash cans, drawing water for restaurants from a distance of 7 km to the Lake Kivu) to survive.

Girls and teenage girls engage them in prostitution for a few Congolese francs:'' I stay in front of this stationery. I am from SAKE (27 km west of Goma) it is because of the war my parents died in 2008. Today I am 14 years old and it's been 5 years  I have been on the street.''  said Yvette.

Reintegration sometimes futile.

To support the Congolese Government to supervise these children of family breakups, several learning business and rehabilitation centers have been opened here in Goma.
In this center youth need training from 6 months to a year, depending on the support needs which vary from one youngster to another.

                                     boys from broken families in the street in Goma enthusiastic for hemp and alcohol.

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