Rev Jean-Paul Aruna and his team at Laissez Vivre Les Enfants (Let Children Live) do extraordinary work in supporting marginalised children.
Goma, in eastern DR Congo, has widespread extreme poverty and deprivation of all sorts. So we’re excited to partner with LVLE, to support and resource them to take this work to the next level. LVLE specialises in training, equipping local churches and schools to create environments where children are safe and can thrive.
A major focus of this training is on witchcraft accusations against children. Such accusations (and associated abuse) are rife in Goma, so LVLE is determined to bring change. Using SCWA’s ‘The Heart of the Matter’ resource, LVLE helps local leaders to address accusations of witchcraft in their communities. Arising from this training, LVLE has formed two 'Synergies', multi-agency networks which prevent witchcraft-related abuse, intervene on behalf of children at risk and even ensure perpetrators are prosecuted. Slowly but surely, attitudes towards children are changing. Goma is gradually becoming a place where children are safe to grow.
Alongside this, LVLE are strengthening their work with street-living children in Goma, befriending children and providing consistent and sustained support for those they get to know well. Following a hugely successful project setting up handwashing stations to combat COVID-19, LVLE have excellent relationships with street-living children all over the city. They are now building on these relationships and helping some of them to find safe and loving homes, away from the streets.