Towards peace and hope for former child soldiers

former child soldiers in Kasai

Children at the Tshikapa Transit and Orientation Center

The Tshikapa Transit and Orientation Centre for children released from militias was set up by UNICEF to receive and help these children. Today, I am standing in front of its closed doors. The guards do not let me enter as the children’s security needs to be assured and their identities protected. It is only after identifying myself as a UNICEF employee and confirming my appointment with the centre’s coordinator that the big doors open.

I meet the children while they attend a mathematics class. I feel they are doing surprisingly well. They are happy to see me and we quickly strike up a conversation. When they tell me about their future plans it becomes fascinating. François* (16) tells me he wants to become a minister and “teach people about good”; and Jean-, barely ten years old, wants to be president to “improve the lives of people”. I also meet a future doctor, a mechanic, a musician, and so on. One by one, they give me a lesson in humanism. After everything they have been through, these children are focused on the future — their own as well as that of others.

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Yves Willemot

Yves Willemot est le chef de l’Équipe InfoCom de l’UNICEF RDC. Plus que tout, ce qui est important pour lui c'est d'être "tous ensemble pour les enfants".

Yves Willemot is Head of the UNICEF DRC InfoCom Team. More than anything, he believes that the most important is to "be together for the children".

Author

Yves Willemot est le chef de l’Équipe InfoCom de l’UNICEF RDC. Plus que tout, ce qui est important pour lui c'est d'être "tous ensemble pour les enfants".

Yves Willemot is Head of the UNICEF DRC InfoCom Team. More than anything, he believes that the most important is to "be together for the children".

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