Current statistics show that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 90% of children live in poverty and 60% of those children are orphans – left alone by either one parent or both. Our DRC country direct, Denis, explains vividly what life is like for orphaned children :
Some pass all the time in the streets without help, no place to sleep, and they are exposed to the bad weather. Others find a poor hospitable family which will help only for food and a place to sleep but there is no hope for them to be at school, get clothes, or healthy assurance.
Some of them can find a hospitable family but they become victims of exploitation by man – hard labor, danger for women, and everything goes from bad to worse.
In the streets, they take on some jobs like caring goods, washing cars, begging, working in the road in order to get something… some time they rob in order to survive.
For them, love never exists, the future is dark.
In Goma, the government supports the orphanages but does not monetarily help these safe havens. The community has compassion for these orphans and are grateful for orphanages but their means to help themselves is limited.
Sister Alvera leads the Flame of Love Orphanage and is Denis’ friend. She has cared for these children for a long time because, while this group of orphans is small, their lives are significant. Mocha Club can build on the success of the Flame of Love Orphanage in Goma as we expand out to support orphanages in other locations. Because let’s face it. There are 4 million orphans in the country. Child labor is an everyday practice. And 1 in 7 children die before they turn 5 years old. (source: http://www.unicef.org/wcaro/Countries_1749.html)