Kimbilio runs four homes and a day centre for street children in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2009 we have been working with children living on the city’s streets, helping them to overcome their personal challenges and begin to build a future with hope. We seek to reunite children with their families wherever possible and appropriate, which is a difficult task in a country as vast as Congo, with poor infrastructure and widespread poverty.
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 for their large families; or, a step parent not wanting to take the children of their new partner’s previous relationship. Many of these have their base in poverty related issues.
As the Democratic Republic of Congo gradually redevelops, we are helping to reduce the number of children living on the streets, and supporting those who are already there towards a more positive future.