SOLIDARITE ET COOPERATION POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT INTEGRAL DES FEMMES ET ENFANTS
(SOLIDARITY AND COOPERATION FOR THE INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN)
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the Infant mortality rate in the Democratic Republic of Congo is 70 per 1000 live births. (2018)
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries in the world that has never really sustained peace for long periods of time. The population is ravaged by persistent armed conflicts. Malnutrition, sexual violence, child soldiers and displacement are among the many problems faced by the children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
DRC is one the poorest countries in the world. In its eastern region, up to 82% of its population is living below the poverty line. A large part of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. The gross national income per capital is $189 a year.
This extreme poverty is almost hard to believe when one considers the fact that the DRC is endowed with vast natural resources. It has 80 million hectares of arable land and over 1,100 listed minerals and precious metals. It has the potential to become one of the richest economies on the continent. But ongoing political instability has kept it from tapping into its vast natural resources and lifting the population out of poverty.
SOCOODEIFE builds the houses and present widows with respectable homes for their families, give them the rights to health care such as remuneration of doctors, hospitalization, medicines, pay school fees for their children, uniforms, notebooks, pens, clothing , shoes, school bags, soap and re-integrate them back into their community.
Lack of Food
At least two million children (2018 figure) in the Democratic Republic of Congo are malnourished to the point of facing imminent death unless something is done to alleviate their situation.
SOCOODEIFE provides poor households with clean drinking water and pay for the purchase of food for the family. The organization also tries to foster the sense of generosity among the villagers. They are encouraged to share what they could to those in need.
The population of the country is also one of the most affected by the AIDS virus. Nearly a million children are orphans because of their parents dying of AIDS. Access to health care and vaccination, in particular, remain problematic given the poor funding of hospitals and the lack of public information dissemination. These deficiencies have resulted in the reappearance of polio in DRC, necessitating the implementation of a huge vaccination campaign for 12 million children less than 5 years old by the world health organization. In Fizi and Uvira in particular, where armed conflicts are the order of the day, infant mortality rate is a staggering 42 percent and the life expectancy is only 35 years which puts them at the lowest in the world.
SOCOODEIFE strongly believes that Children orphan's health should be the priority in the area and we provide them with health facilities like pay enough medication, hospitalization and pay the doctors. SOCOODEIFE provide emergency transport for patients.
Lack of Education
Primary school is still not free in the DRC, despite the fact that the government has already mandated free primary education. It has not been implemented throughout the country. The costs of school uniforms, tuition, and additional fees, are too prohibitive for the poor. Many parents just cannot afford to send their children to school. Schools throughout the DRC are overcrowded, understaffed, structurally damaged by conflicts, occupied by internally displaced persons, or require students to travel long distances. The ever present fear of falling victim to armed groups perpetrating sexual violence against young girls, and forcibly recruiting young boys to the militia, while on their way to or on the way back from school, is also among the factors that hinder many children from going to school. More than half of the children have either not attended school or never progressed past 5 years of primary schooling.
SOCOODEIFE enrolls children in schools and pay for their education that pay their necessities such as uniforms, books, shoes, to the teachers, notebooks, pens and clothing. SOCOODEIFE gives 3 laptops for a class of 53 students in every primary and secondary school in all the countries we provide services. We also distribute bicycles to our students and workers.When those students accumulate knowledge from the class, they become more aware of their culture and remaining clinging on it. Provide the access to the public internet, public secretariat, Gymnastic, Swimming pools, Self-reading, Guidance on computer skills.
Sexual Abuse of Children
The DRC is among the top 10 countries where children are unsafe and deprived of their childhood. One of the tragic consequences of armed conflicts in DRC is the now commonplace practice of raping both women and young girls. Rape has become a weapon of war used by warring factions to destroy the population. In 2018, more than 150,000 cases of sexual violence were reported and more than half of them involved victims less than 16 years old. The consequences to the victims are often devastatingly far-reaching. They are ostracized by their family and villagers, they contract sexually transmitted diseases and also fall pregnant and saddled with an unwanted child.
SOCOODEIFE economic empowerment to reduce domestic violence. We put weekly training in place for anyone to make them become more aware of violence in their homes and how to avoid becoming a victim of such violence.
Because of the high cost of education, children not only do not get to go to school but they often end up working at an early age to supplement the family income. Poverty pushes parents to send their children to work rather than try to get an education. Child labor in the DRC includes forced mining of minerals, notably cobalt, often using their bare hands and machetes to excavate and without protective clothing. Children as young as seven have been working in these mines in deplorable conditions. For a shift of up to 24 hours underground, most earn less than $2 (1.80 Euro) a day. And many receive only half of that.
SOCOODEIFE facilitates the art to all individuals for women and children to use the skills acquired in the near future and that will create the stable income for women and children and the community at large. Educate all children on how to become self-reliant. Present them with job opportunities where necessary.
The number of street children on the street is estimated to be 780,000 with majority of these in Kinshasa. The average age of these street children is 12. An alarming trend seems to have emerged which has contributed to the increase in the number of street children. When families notice a child exhibiting strange behaviors (which could be a valid form of mental illness or retardation) and a spiritual authority confirms that he/she is a Witch the child is violently driven away from his or her home. Ostracized and shunned, they have no choice but the try and survive on the streets as beggars.
SOCOODEIFE has helped rescue some of these children who were driven away from home. They are provided a home, assessment of their disorder and counselling to manage the mental issue or disturbance, whenever possible. SOCOODEIFE took on this challenge in its desire to help these children live a more normal life despite some mental handicap. Offer them recreational activities of value to challenged people in the area. Provide services to families of people with disabilities, and promote the well-being of people with disabilities in the society. Socoodeife has 18 recreation centers for our community to have access to games like playing football, tennis, public secretariat, CD, Movies, read books, access to the computers.
The persisting conflicts in DRC have resulted in the recruitment of children onto armed groups. These young children are often left orphaned when their parents are murdered. They are then forcibly taken by the rebel armed groups to the soldier camps, trained and sent to wars in the county. They become children soldiers required not only to fight the “enemy” but also to commit crimes against their population and sometimes even against their own families. The only education they get is training to fight and being in the war zones.
SOCOODEIFE gives counselling to young soldiers who survived the battles and bring them back in the community with a sense of worth, develop a sense of belonging to society and most of all, to feel safe again. These survivor child soldiers are offered various opportunities to earn a living by providing for instance sewing machines and teaching them to learn to sew. They are also taught various skills like soap making, working in a hair salon,plumbing and carpentry.
The violent conflicts and the forced recruitment of children as child soldiers have cause many families with children to flee to safer neighboring countries and become refugees there. Some children are separated from their parents or even lose their parents while fleeing, leaving them orphaned in a strange land. And the refugee camps where these children end up in these poor countries are also rife with all sorts of threat to their well-being. Inadequate food, lack of sanitation and diseases are ravaging even these “safer” places. Displaced children do not get to go to school nor eat decent meals.
SOCOODEIFE is doing its best to alleviate the plight of the displaced children. Where possible, SOCOODEIFE removed these children from dismal refugee camps and provide a better home for them either with their relatives or foster families who can provide food and shelter for them. In some instances, SOCOODEIFE staff takes them to another refugee camp with better conditions.
Lack of Identity
Only 31% of births are registered in the DRC. The majority of Congolese children do not have an official identity or a valid proof of nationality.
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