We are Faveur and Adreana, two Child Reporters of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Last year, we participated in the investigation « Perception of the state of education in the DRC » in order to understand the reasons of the no schooling of many children across the country. As part of this investigation, nearly one hundred Child Reporters throughout the DRC went to meet children who do not go to school in order to learn about their situation. In Kinshasa, we went to open spaces in different communities of the city who welcome street children.
In the beginning, we were a bit stressed at the idea of meeting street children since these children do not have a good reputation. We often say that they are violent and unpredictable. Once we started to talk with them, it was the complete opposite : they were available and generous. All the children that we met were nice and welcoming! Some were a bit shy but after a few minutes, we succeeded in making them feel relaxed and they did not hesitate to tell us their histories.
We immediately noticed that street children were deprived of all their rights. Some children were sick, injured, malnourished or dirty. A 10 year old boy even confided in us that he was often beat « by the big ones ». During two days, we talked to dozens of children. Despite their conditions and difficult lives, girls and boys all share the same dream: TO RETURN TO SCHOOL.
Each child has the right to education!
Street children also have the right to education. It is their most ardent wish because by going to school, they will be able to actualize their dreams when they are adults. We demand the government to respect their rights by helping them frequent school according to article 28 of the Convention of the Rights of Children. It is thanks to school that they will be able to form the society of tomorrow and actualize their dreams.
Translated from French by Matthew Khalkhali