My questions for the UNICEF Deputy Representative in DRC

When the Children’s Forum of Hope was held in Bujumbura this weekend, I had the opportunity to pose two questions to the UNICEF Deputy Representative for the DRC, Sylvie Fouet. It was an opportunity to discuss the protection and education of vulnerable children.

What measures has UNICEF taken to help children who are sent home from school because they cannot afford the costs of school?

In these cases, we make a political appeal. This means we encourage the government to respect that primary school should be free in all parts of the country. We assist these children with programs like “Back to School”, which allocates school supplies (workbooks, books, pens…) to 6-7 year old children. This greatly helps parents who do not have the finances to maintain the cost of school. Last year, we had more than 2.5 million children enrolled in schools throughout DRC. This is a wonderful success rate, as education is essential for the future of the country.

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Les 15 jeunes de RDC qui ont participé au Forum de l’Espoir de Bujumbura. Les 11 Provinces du pays étaient représentées.

What contributions has UNICEF made in the Great Lakes region for the children who are victims of war?

We try to play an essential role in reuniting families. This means we help children who are separated from their families by working to find their parents or other members of the family. If we succeed, that’s wonderful, and we continue to assist them. If we are unsuccessful, we take these children and give them free access to health and nutrition services and we finance their studies.

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All the photos of the Children’s Forum of Hope are now available on Flickr!

Photos: ODH/Batumike/2014 – UNICEF RDC/Majourel/2014

Post translated from French by Sara Niemann

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Terence

Terencea 15 ans et il vient de la Province du Bas-Congo. Il souhaite devenir avocat. Son souhait est que la région des grands lacs et le reste de l’Afrique puissent être en paix pour enfin accéder au développement.

Terence is 15 years old and come from the Bas-Congo Province. He wants to be a lawyer. He hopes the Great Lakes Region and the rest of Africa will be in peace and finally be able to develop itself.

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