Street children are a reality in many cities across the world. In Lubumbashi, children started to be seen in increasing numbers on the streets during the 1990s when the economic and political situation of the country was very poor.
Children end up on the streets for a number of reasons including parental deaths often due to HIV/AIDS and malaria; witchcraft accusations; theft and other anti-social behaviour which results in a breakdown in family relationships; neglect as families are unable to provide adequately for their large families; a step parent not wanting to take the children of their new partners previous relationship. Many of these have their base in poverty related issues.
As the Democratic Republic of Congo starts to regain political stability we are assisting in the process of reducing the numbers of children living on the streets and supporting those who are already there towards a more positive future.