Combating ignorance, changing attitudes
In Kinshasa and other provinces,Â Equipe Pastorale auprĂ¨s des Enfants en DĂŠtresse (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 15 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). False accusations of witchcraft are a huge problem in DR Congo, andÂ many of the children EPED supports have been accused of being âchild witchesâ and seriously abused as a result. EPED are determined to tackle this issue and we are no less determined to work with them to do that.
Your donation can change lives in DR Congo. ÂŁ5 will provide a toiletries pack for a child prisoner. ÂŁ20 willÂ improve a street-livingÂ teenager’s future by helping him develop a smallÂ business.Â Please give now.