Former child soldiers at Children's Voice center
-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.
We are hope to this child!
Class to deplaced children during war near Goma