-Progress of our project:
Many child soldiers, boys and girls under the age of 18 are involved in more than 30 conflicts worldwide. They are used by militias as combatants, messengers, porters, cook as well as to provide sexual services. Some are forcibly recruited or abducted; others are driven to join by poverty, abuse and discrimination, or to seek revenge for violence enacted against themselves and their families. Due to poverty and lack of social facilities; thousands of children who manage to leave armed groups are susceptible to re-recruitment. Additionally, children are also most likely to get drawn into militia groups if they are separated from their families or displaced from their homes.
In view of the foregoing; many children and adolescents who have lost their opportunity to be in school or have been demobilized ending up being idle in the Goma town. Some of these are involved in child labour for survival including supplying water to restaurants in exchange for food. Others have adopted negative coping mechanisms such as prostitution, drug abuse and robbery. It is imperative to note that government and local structures do not have the capacity to meet the social needs of children in crisis (in the streets, in prostitution or those arrested for any form of crime). This is mainly because of limited resources, limited technical capacity and uncoordinated interventions among stakeholders.
As response to this challenge, war orphaned children and community leaders refer former child soldiers to Children’s Voice. At 3 of its centers, they have a vocational training project on sewing, carpentry, motor mechanics and cookery. The training is coupled with literacy, social services such as medical, legal (including training basic human rights) and psychosocial support.
- Story of beneficiary:
“To be a former soldier was too hard. This is a past story for me. Now, what is important for me, is work hard for my life. My parents were killed during the war. I have finished the vocational training in mechanic at Virunga Children’s Voice centre. When M23 took Goma, many young people were recruited. Some went to Nyatura group, other to APCLS to fight M23. I refused to follow them because I have a job and I am working to UNHCR garage. I am too happy. Those who went are jobless and have neither skill nor project of life, ”, said Gyslain.
- Accomplishments and impact:
They were 93 young who have finished vocational training. They received certificate from Minister of Education and vocational training, Mrs Maggy Rwakabuba.
- Budget used:
Up to 25th March 2013, 99 Donations from 44 Donors have raised 3686 usd and 16313 usd remaining. Training materials and trainers’ payment were supported.
- Upcoming or past events
To improve community resilience and dignity of vulnerable war orphaned and former child soldiers reduce negative coping mechanisms such as prostitution, drug abuse and robbery, provide to some to be involved in child labour and save them from abuses.
We would like to sincerely thank our donors for generous donation through GlobalGiving to the School Scholarships for Vulnerable Youth. Every donation helps ensure that we can continue helping youth and community. Thank you again for all you have done to help children and youth.
We have many challenges in Eastern Congo DRC. Your ideas and suggestions could advise in this program. Please give us you proposal. We are running this project together. Please, if you are around, visit this project at Goma in DRC. Sure it is possible. Please tell me how you think we can work together to attract wider support for this project.
25 March 2013
En outre, depuis février, les actes de harcèlement et les attaques contre le personnel humanitaire, particulièrement dans le Nord-Kivu, sont en augmentation.S'il semble évident que les besoins humanitaires sont concentrés dans les zones affectées par les conflits, les évaluations des besoins menées dans les provinces occidentales ne cessent de révéler des « crises oubliées »: plusieurs zones du pays qui ne sont pas touchées par le conflit enregistrent des taux extrêmement élevés en termes de mortalité, morbidité et malnutrition.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country of severe conflict in Africa. Especially Goma in the eastern when rebels groups are fighting. M23 is one of those groups. Population are displaced from villages to villages. Many children are out of education and lived in streets. The orphaned and vulnerable children have no system of social support apart from families and communities. Basic Government social services are almost non-existent. Many orphans are stigmatized due to the possibility that they have been soldiers, raped or accused of witchcraft. Most are unable to continue school and many have never been able to afford to go at all.
Since 10 years ago, Children’s Voice gives to young a quick education program to those who are young and vocational training to the adolescents. Especially to vulnerable, abused and neglected children who have little or no literacy skills. Each year, more than 850 children get certificates and skills for a better future. They continue secondary school or workshops of small business.
- Story of beneficiary:
Aziza is one of young girls who are learning to make clothes at Children’s Voice center in Virunga. “I was forced and been married t an old man when I had 14 year old. It was a hard life. I decided to run away and go to militia in the bush. There the commandant abused me for one year. One day I went away and reached Monusco base at Lubero and came to Goma to live with my grandmother Salome.”
I am happy with my vocational training to make clothes at Children’s Voice. I will start a workshop with 2 of my colleagues. It is a good business for me.
- Accomplishments and impact:
There are 86 girls who are in vocational training learning to make clothes, mechanic, fixing hair, carpentry and cooking. We provide to all a psychological assistance and counseling.
- Budget used:
Up to 30th November 2012, we have raised 3504 used in 90 donations. We bought materials and paid trainers.
- Upcoming or past events
Many children are living on the street because of the political, economic and social problems. They are abused and neglected and have little or no literacy skills, now they will have education and protection from street violence. Specially, they are prepared for the best future in the community.
We would like to sincerely thank our donors for this generous donation through GlobalGiving to the School Scholarships for Vulnerable Youth. Every donation helps ensure that we can continue helping our community.
Thank you again for all you have done to help this cause.
I know you have many ideas and suggestions how to do much better to help these children. Do not hesitate to give us you proposal. We are running this project together. I would like to invite you in DRC, at Goma. Sure it is possible. Please tell me how you think we can work together to attract wider support for this project.
Location: Goma, North Kivu Province, Eastern DRC
There are many young people especially girls and young women who have not been at school. Alphabetization class helps them to learn how to read and to write. Children’s Voice associates it to vocational training education youth programs. Especially to vulnerable, abused and neglected children who have little or no literacy skills. There are many from street and from armed militias.
- Vocational program is done by youth ages from 14 to 17 years old who have not gone to primary school are accepted into a vocational training program accompanied with literacy courses.
Zabibu is one of young girls who are learning to make clothes at Bujovu center. She said how she is happy to learn: “I lost my parents when we were running from Ufamandu (Masisi) after our village burned by militia May May in community conflict. My 2 young sisters and 3 brothers have reached Goma and live together. I am the eldest.
It is very difficult to help my family. I am happy that I know now how to make clothes at Children’s Voice center. I learned to write and read. I practiced and make some to my sisters and brothers. I am a much better tailor and I got a sewing machine. I have a small business and a small shop of clothes made by myself. Life is not easy but I have to fight and to survive.
At the end of August, 105 more girls have finished vocational training in sewing. We provide to all health care by our dispensary and a psychological assistance. .
Up to 31st august 2012, we have raised 3260 usd in 82 donations. We bought sewing materials and paid trainers.
31st August 2012
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