These three children are brothers aged 14, 13 and 12. They live with both parents and two little sisters, five children in all. Their dad is called Kapumbu and their mum Mujinga. The family lives in a small studio flat on the banks of the Ndjili river. The rent is 15$ but every time is rains the house gets flooded and the family’s belongings get soaked. The dad gets by as an assistant mechanic but he does not get work very often so the family lives in very great poverty and the children are always hungry. That is why the boys started to go regularly to the local market to do little jobs such as selling drinking water pouches.
They became used to living in the street, liking it sufficiently to stay a whole year away from home. Then other street children showed them the way to our reception centre, where they very happy to receive a warm welcome. They were able to share their story to a lady educator who straightaway went to the address they gave in order to meet their father. He was relieved to have good news of the boys but he told her that he had not chased his children away, only that he could not care adequately for his family.
So we urged him to look for another flat in a better district away from the river and we gave the landlord a guarantee so that the father could rent the new flat. We awarded the mother a microcredit loan to enable her to sell cassava and thus contribute to feeding her family. The three boys were taken back to their home and enrolled in primary school. They were very pleased to be in school uniform once more. Finally our nurse was able to meet the mother and suggested to her that she have a contraceptive implant fitted.