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.
The issues that make childrenÂ take to the streets are many and complex. Many children have been orphaned or abandoned by their parents. Some have been forced to leave home to avoid abuse, or even accusations of witchcraft. Others may have a family but spend almost every waking hour on the street, trying to earn money to help their family 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.
EPED, BCT’s partner in Kinshasa, DR Congo, works closely with children living and working on the streets. Through individual support, counselling and care, EPED is befriending children, giving them hope, helping to restore their lives and reuniting many with their families.
Similarly, LVLE is reaching out to street-living children in Goma in 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.
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.