ollie david leviHonorary Award for the Civil Society – 2012

Democratic republic of Congo (DRC)

NGO for the integration of street children in Congo (AEJERC)

Tags: street kids, witch kids, reintegration, training.

Ollie David Levi, self made person. The project of David Ollie takes roots from a sad experience that he lived at his young age. He managed to transform his traumatism and frustrations in an entry point to change the regard of his society. At the age of seven indeed, David Ollie was thrown and abandoned on the street where he grew up as a street child. Fifteen years later David creates an NGO with an aim to support his fellows street children in his country, the DRC.

Problem: For the last 20 years, Kinshasa, the capital of DRC, has known an exceptional increase in the number of street children; … often labeled as witch kids. The phenomenon had first to spread in Kinshasa, the capital city, before reaching the whole country to become a national concern. These shégués, as they are called in Congo, fend their ways of living after their rejection from their own families. They are daily abused, they live under violence and they often spend part of their life in the numerous prisons of the country. With his NGO, David Ollie wants to open a new door, a social one, for street kids with lots of orphans in the Congo.

Action: The project of David is to help street children to start income generating activities. David has tried many things for that purpose: he visits areas where street children spend their day long, he stimulates them to integrate a new life in his project. David makes a regular follow up of his action, especially for medical care to these kids. The oldest kids receive vocational training in tailoring and art as to allow them to take care of themselves and to leave the street conditions. The main challenge for David was, hitherto, to obtain the legitimization of his project; he recently signed a contract with the leading authority for some environmental sanitation. This contributes to acknowledge the problem of street and the conditions they live. At the same time the contract is an indication that street kids could handle their own living if the society was willing to support them.

Harubuntu Dimension: David is strong personality. He could be a model for the change of the regard on self. His initiative is now shared in Kinshasa. For his reintegration, David tried hard and went beyond his limits. He pushed away all barriers that he had built and the ones from the society to block him. "At each occasion where we have to stop and face the panic in front, we gain more force and energy to continue, and we gain in trust. We have to try things which seem to be impossible." Change lies in the way that we gain new energy to create new things, surely not in fighting the odds.


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