Children living on the streets
Tens of millions ofÂ children worldwide are estimated to live on the street or spend a large part of their time there.
There are many reasons why a child might end up on the streets. Neglect and family breakdown are common reasons, andÂ accusations of witchcraft often lead children to run away from home because of the abuse that awaits them if they stay. Poverty is a huge contributory factor, too: children may haveÂ families but spend almost every waking hour on the street, trying to earn money to help their families survive.
Life on the street is a struggle for survival. Many children and young people live in gangs, for self-protection. Some resort to crime to survive. Most face discrimination, violence and abuse, including from authority figures. These children live with difficulty, danger and trauma. They are highly vulnerable and need support to make healthy choices and find a place to call home.
LVLE is reaching out to street-living children in Goma, eastern DR Congo. Alongside its child protection training initiatives for schools and churches, LVLE is committed to meeting the needs of the most marginalised children in an incredibly deprived community. The team is building relationships with street-living children, using those relationships as a basis for giving advice and practical help. The latest step is to set up two listening points at different locations in the city, giving children regular times and places to meet them.
Despite the many stereotypes associated with them, many of these children and young people are extremely creative, resilient and loyal. They just need help, love and support to enable them fulfil their God-given potential.