Combating ignorance, changing attitudes
In Kinshasa and other provinces,Â Equipe Pastorale auprĂ¨s des Enfants en DĂ©tresse (Pastoral Team for Children in Distress)Â is mobilising teams of church volunteers to care for the most marginalised children in a troubled nation. These teams reach out to children living on the street, providing medical care, practical support and counselling. AndÂ projects such as a street boysâ€™ football team and a street girlsâ€™ dance troupe are providing these youngsters with a sense of belonging and fresh hope.
Ultimately, EPED aims to enable children to leave the streets by finding loving homes for them. It is sometimes possible to reunite children with their parents and, in other cases, the team has successfully placed former street-living children with foster families. EPED has trained and is supporting growing numbers of foster parents, caring for children who have left the streets.
Central to EPED’s work is changing harmful attitudes prevalent in Congolese society which fuel the mistreatment and abuse of children. EPED runs regular training sessions on children’s rights and child protection for community organisations in Kinshasa. Alongside this, EPEDÂ is heavily involved inÂ the Stop Child Witch Accusations coalition (SCWA).
BCT and EPED have reached a mutual decision to end our partnership in December 2018. Over the last ten years, EPED hasÂ changed the lives of literally thousands of children and young people, andÂ weâ€™re proud to have played a part in that by providing EPED with training, networking, resourcing and guidance. We celebrate all weâ€™ve achieved together â€“ and trust God for even greater fruitfulness.