The orphans who can't be cared for by extended families are faced with a future in institutions or for many life on the streets. To get some idea of how overwhelming the orphans situation is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, imagine where you live having one out of every four of its inhabitants as an orphaned child. Where would you even begin to address their needs, simply where would the adult carers come from when they are so poor they can't even meet their own children's needs, let alone the children of others.
As such many child orphans end up running households themselves having to abandon any hope of receiving education or skills training to take them out of a cycle of poverty in order to provide for younger siblings and this in a country where life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards are ranked in bottom place of all countries in the world. Many children in the Democratic Republic of Congo who are orphaned by AIDS face further problems as they are often accused of witchcraft or sorcery. In fact nearly all of the children there accused of witchcraft are either orphans, disabled or albinos with boys being at greatest risk (75%). Many of these orphans end up on the streets of towns and cities such as the capital Kinshasa where they are known as 'Shegue' and have to rob, steal, harass to stay alive and numb the pain by taking drugs, entering into violent gangs and sniffing glue.
Most children in the Democratic Republic of Congo have become orphans due to the wars that have ravaged the country and continue unabated in the east of the country. Disturbingly, armed militias have even attacked orphanages demanding the children and babies from rival groups be handed over to be killed. Those protecting the children from this are constantly placing their own lives at risk and, on occasions, have to flee with the orphans to a place of safety until some order can be restored. You can help by exploring child sponsor programs for the many orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo for as little as 50p a day; the price of a newspaper. Make a difference. The video below explores the lives of some of these children.
Details of how to sponsor a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo with DRC
child sponsor programs.
Pictures and images of street children with facts and figures in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Sponsor a child listings by country together with details of children's lives there.
Information about the growing crisis of street children in Africa escaping poverty and violence.
HIV and AIDS has had a devastating impact on on children and their families across Africa.
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Mainly African, we also extend our listings to other children in need who live in Haiti, Yemen and Gaza.
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