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June 11, 2013

H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover towards Kinshasa's street children

 Picture : H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover towards Kinshasa's street children

H.R.H. The Princess of Hanover, who was visiting Democratic Republic of Congo from 6 to 8 June 2013 - part of the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo - seased the opportunity to meet with Kinshasa's street children and make contact with the local child-protection actors.

The number of children currently living in the streets of Kinshasa is evaluated between 20 000 and 25 000. Abandoned by their parents, running away from home or even born in the streets, these children try to survive through difficult living conditions, facing violence, deliquency and prostitution.

In a country where 87 % of the population live with less than $2 per day, some families just decide to abandon their children. Some others, qualified as "witch children" are strongly rejected by their relatives.

The Princess of Hanover, President of AMADE Mondiale, had a a meeting with the head of the REEJER - Réseau des Éducateurs des Enfants et Jeunes de la Rue - an associative network created around 15 years ago. The REEJER coordinates nearly 165 NGOs supporting Kinshasa's street children. Its main activities cover raising public awareness and lobbying local authorities, as well as prevention and family conciliation. The REEJER provides direct care (education, health) and socio-professional reinsertion to the children. It is also committed to reinforce the competences of local child-support organisations. Eventually, the REEJER is a documentation and information center, gathering useful data regarding the situation of Kinshasa's street children (www.reejer.org).

The Princess of Hanover and Mr. Jérôme Froissart, Secretary General of AMADE Mondiale, also visited the following 3 child-support centers for street children:
§ The OSEPER Center (Ruvre de Suivi, Education et Protection de l'Enfant de la Rue), a daytime welcome structure ensuring scholarship, prevention and family reunification.
§ The ORPER Center (Ruvre de Reclassement de et Protection de l'Enfant de la Rue), which welcomes and accomodates children aged 6 to 13 years old and struggles for their family and socio-professional reinsertion.
§ The VTA Center (Vivre et Travailler Autrement), exclusively dedicated to support deprived young girls aged 6 to 18 years old.

All these contacts and exchanges will allow AMADE Mondiale to support the efforts of the local stakeholders, and contribute to their fight to improve the lives of Kinshasa's street children.

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