Democratic Republic of Congo – Shelters for Street Children

This project is a joint initiative of UNESCO, International Community of Emmaus and the Association of Street Youth and Development.

Life is harsh on the streets of Kinshasa at the best of times, particularly for street children who have no safe place to hide from violence and/or from the difficult climatic conditions. During the rainy season, children without a roof over their heads battle to shield themselves from the murderous rains. The first stage of this project (jointly carried out by UNESCO, the International Community of Emmaüs and the Association of Street Youth and Development) was to build a series of shelters in 15 different Kinshasa neighbourhoods for street children and young homeless mothers, some of them with babies. The current second stage is to purchase and to cultivate an allotment of about 10 hectares which will give children and adolescents greater food security and a place of refuge during the day. The project provides the children with tools to work the soil and this, in turn, will generate money from the sale of vegetables to finance the project. At present 200 children and adolescents are involved in this project but the number is set to increase.

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