Why The Street ?
SITUATION OF KINSHASA
Kinshasa becomes one of the biggest city of Africa with 9 million inhabitants. But poverty is everywhere. After years of mismanagement, civil war and corruption, it is very difficult to live and to find a job in Kinshasa. In a research made in 2004, UNICEF numbered more than 15.000 street children, but today many people speak about 25.000 street children in Kinshasa.
REASONS OF BEING IN THE STREET
Many children are in the street because of poverty in their family: they have nothing to eat there, and everybody must go to seek something where he can.
For other children, the two parents are dead of AIDS and the family rejected them as a witch who killed his parents: the child is two times traumatized: as he lost his parents, and convicted to be the origin of the death of his parents.
The witchcraft is everywhere in Kinshasa: People have many problems: there is death, disease, no jobs… “but there must be a responsible for all my problems: somebody who wants to destroy my family and I. The question is to discover the witch who wants to destroy my family and my life.” In the past, the witch was an old man, a marginal, a handicapped man, somebody that people can think that he is jealous of the others. But in recent times, children are mostly accused to be the witch who “ate” the family, who “killed” the dead person. And when a family thinks that a child is a witch they go with him in a small local church to pray for him, with local pastors who ask money to do this. Often, the child is beaten that he can accept that he is a witch. But most of the time, even after this kind of prayer, the family think that the child stays as a witch and they refuse to receive him in the family, the child finally comes in the street.
Many families are divided, the man on one side, and the woman on the other one. Then, the man's new wife do not accept the children of the first wife, then the children have no more place in the house and they come on the street.