In the Democratic Republic of the Congo there is still one of the longest and most complex crises of the African continent. In the last year there has been an increase in cases of negligence or abandonment of children by parents, caused by the extreme level of poverty in which they live. In addition, food insecurity still affects about 1,8 million people, including 219 000 children under the age of 5 years and the rise in prices between February 2022 and February 2023 has aggravated the situation.
Despite this complex situation, the Foyer Ek’Abana center continued the activities regularly and safely. The number of children has increased and, currently, there is an average of more than 40 children living in the center, while many others have continued to attend during the day.
In order to promote the rights of the children and to spread awareness of the issues related to abandonment and accusations of witchcraft, in the last period the center has been engaged on several fronts. In fact, a lot of meetings were organized with the aim of sensitize the public about these issues. In particular, activities were organized in parishes for children with disabilities; several schools visited Foyer Ek’Abana to study the approach used for the prevention of accusations against children; meetings were planned with community leaders in order to build committees to combat the phenomenon.
In addition, the Foyer Ek’Abana continued to provide three daily meals to young residents and, when needed, other children were hosted and flour was periodically distributed to mothers.
The center has continued to pursue the fundamental objectives of the project, in fact, with the aim of ensuring access to education, the youngest children have attended the nursery school inside the center while the older ones were enrolled in the different schools of the city. Furthermore, this year was also guaranteed health insurance for residents because, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it’s up to citizens.
There have been opportunities for non-formal education, play and sociality that allowed children to express themselves through art and discover new passions. Additionally, every first Sunday of the month, the birthdays of all children born in that month were celebrated together.