ECM seeks to reclaim lost street youth

By October 22, 2009

Congo (MNN) — In Democratic-Republic Congo, kids find
themselves on the streets for a myriad of reasons. To survive harsh conditions,
many join street gangs. With the help of Every Child Ministries (ECM), street kids get a second
chance.

Why do children become "street kids" in Congo? The
list is long: they've been accused of witchcraft; they're blamed for their
parents' problems; there are too many mouths and not enough food; their parents
died from AIDS, Ebola, or another disease; sometimes kids are cast out
simply because they're not wanted anymore. Whatever the reason, lonely children
wander the streets of DR Congo without shelter or basic care.

In 2001, ECM began ministering to street kids, mainly boys,
at a popular outdoor market in Kinshasa. Regular worship services and Bible teachings
are offered by ECM's Fellowship for Street Children, and the boys receive donated clothing and two
meals a week.

ECM also offers vocational training to help kids get off the
street and support themselves. The first two graduated in 2004; both found jobs
and are now off the streets. One young girl will soon open her own dressmaking
shop.

Recently, Ida Munanga completed training to become a tailor
through ECM's apprenticeship program. Congolese tailors are trained to create
fashions without patterns, using only measurements taken from the client. Over
the next year, Munanga will work with other students to learn how to manage
their own shop and small amounts of money. After the year's training, they'll
be on their own.

After losing both parents to AIDS, Ida Munanga was
among the masses of Congolese street children. Invited to Street Kids'
Fellowship by ECM workers, Munanga gave her heart to Christ after listening to
testimonies from former street kids.

Introduced to a new way of life by ECM, Munanga can now form
a new identity. If you'd like to help street kids like Munanga find new life in
Christ, click here to support ECM's ministry.

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