01 Jun 2013 08:00
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo | 09-06-2013
The problem of street children in Kinshasa continues to worsen, despite more than two thousand former street and orphaned children who have been housed and rehabilitated by a national government program. In the DR Congo, the street children are called “enfants sorciers,” meaning the witch kids who are usually victims of domestic violence, the HIV epidemic, early pregnancies, or suspected of practicing voodoo. Most of the children have confessed to pick-pocketing, regular drug use, expecially marijuana and sniffing petrol. A pilot project to rehabilitate thousands of children living on the streets of DR Congo is failing because government is excluding civil society from the rehabilitation program.Two years ago, the government began recruiting Kinshasa’s street kids and placing them into training centres under the auspices of the DR Congo National Service, to provide them trade skills, such as carpentry and tailoring. However following their graduation from life and trade skills training, the children often return to their old lives because there has been no planning by government on how the skills could be utilized by the kids to their benefit.