Quick reads

1

Guillaume in Lubumbashi: life after the street

VIA Don Bosco
14 September 2018
Guillaume lived for 14 years in the streets of Lubumbashi (DR Congo). Today he studies ‘construction’ in one of the schools supported by VIA Don Bosco. Learn his story.

 

Guillaume lived on the streets for fourteen years. When he was two years old, his parents died and his uncle was given custody of him. But over the years, the relationship with his uncle deteriorated: he was rejected by the uncle’s family and accused of all evil, including witchcraft. Guillaume ended up on the streets, where he had to learn to survive on his own.

After years on the streets, Guillaume found shelter in one of our reception centers for street children. He also started going to school there. In 2009, however, the government forced us to temporarily close down our reception center. Guillaume ended up in a state reception center, but he ran away after a while. He returned to the street where he did several small jobs in order to pay for his studies. However, he earned too little and came back. He was enterprising, studied hard and wanted to learn a job.

Initially, Guillaume was no longer welcome in his village because people considered him a witch child there. We contacted his family and managed to get him to go back to them every now and then. In the meantime, he learned acrobatics and guitar in his spare time at our reception center, showing he was a guy with numerous talents.

One day he wanted to take the juggle bottles home to show his sisters what he had learned. After a few months he also took his guitar with him. The uncle, who had sent him to the streets in the past, became aware of how talented the boy was. He was surprised and let Guillaume come home for a weekend.

It was Guillaume himself who managed to gradually restore the bond with his family. He was patient, helped where he could, and surprised his family with his talents time and time again. The family discovered a helpful and responsible young man, an example for others.

Nowadays, Guillaume is back home and is learning a profession at our center. He is the second-best student in his class and is currently doing an internship on a construction site. Guillaume is a guy who has done everything possible to renew the ties with his family and to be able to study. He is well aware of the opportunity he has been given and has grabbed it with both hands. His family is now very proud of what he has achieved.

 

Read the interview of Eric Meert and Cécile Pichon who help street children in Lubumbashi.

DR Congo Children
Next article Street youth in Lubumbashi: fighting for a future