DR Congo's Former Child Soldiers Face Tough Return To Civilian Life

DR Congo's former child soldiers face tough return to civilian life

Goma, DR Congo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Oct, 2021 ) :Some of the DR Congo's former child soldiers have become traders, hairdressers and tailors, but many struggle to recover a normal life.

Dreams of becoming a farmer or teacher run up against tough conditions in a society deeply afflicted by unemployment and poverty.

Clement Kahindo, supervisor of a temporary shelter in Goma, capital of North Kivu province, goes through the list of problems.

His facility is managed by an NGO called Cajed, which works for underprivileged young people and currently accommodates around 40 children aged 10 to 17 recently extracted from armed groups.

"They are taught how to behave properly, to read and write. They do drawing, basket-making, gardening, the washing up," he told AFP.

What about teaching them a trade? "We do that sometimes, but not so much," Kahindo said. "We lack the funds." But he proudly pointed to the success of a young man who had been given a sewing machine and has since regularly visited with reports of his progress. Another runs a hairdressing salon.

Kahindo said many former child combatants were overwhelmed by the horrors they had witnessed in a part of the country that has been ravaged by violencefor more than 25 years.

Related Topics