In DR Congo children do not leave the fight for their rights to others. In the form of drawings or education they take their future in their own hands and speak up for the rights of their peers who are captured by armed groups. More than 3500 children are recruited by those groups and even after their release the children are often cast out by their family and the community. KIYO and its local partner organisations do all they can to free those child soldiers and make sure that they can return to a home where they are not discriminated against.
children are in the clutches of armed groups.
KIYO and partner organisation AVREO already freed
The rights of children are constantly violated during armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, both by the army and armed groups. The conflicts are mainly about the exploitation of natural resources and go hand in hand with the emergence of armed groups, a growing illegal arms trafficking and the mass recruitment of children and adolescents by armed groups.
More than 3500 children are in the clutches of armed groups, despite the legal measures that DR Congo took to protect the children against the recruitment. Boys and girls are being used as soldiers, cooks, spies, messengers and holders of ammunition. Torture, humiliation and sexual and commercial exploitation is not an exception.
Since 2013 there is a silver lining: several leaders of the armed groups are willing to release some of the recruited boys and girls. Once back at home, the re-integration process is not plain sailing.
Especially girls are often traumatised because they were victims of sexual violence, forced marriages and early pregnancies. Furthermore, the returning children are often cast out by the community and even their own families. They are seen as dangerous and scum.
KIYO build toward a structural solution for the urgent problem. KIYO takes preventive measures to prevent that more children and adolescents will be recruited by the armed groups.
After the children got their freedom back, KIYO gives the children clothes, shoes and medical care. They stay temporarily in a centre where they get nutritious meals and medical care. TO deal with their trauma, the children get psychological help and they can participate with diverse creative activities that are organised in the centre of our partner organisation AVREO.
The children who return home, are not always welcomed by their family or the community. They see the ex-child soldiers as dangerous and scum. KIYO did research on the feelings of the community on the return of children and includes both the family and the community in the re-integration process of the children to make sure the victims can return to a home and a city where they are not discriminated against.
KIYO and partner organisation AVREO already freed 37 children from Fizi and Kalehe and at the moment the release process of a lot of other children is ongoing.
Echa, a boy of 14 years old, is one of the 37 released children. After his release from the armed groups, he followed a formation to become a farmer in the centre of AVREO, the local partner organisation of KIYO. After his formation, he started his own business with two pigs and several medicine for animals. Because of his business he could secure his own future and that of his family and make an end to the violence and discrimination.
KIYO cannot do it alone and needs your help for all the interventions and projects to make sure children in DR Congo can take charge over their own future. Every achievement of KIYO is also one of yours! Make a donation!
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