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Pilgrims in the night
Pilgrims in the night
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Guillermo Castillo




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Children of the streets

Children of the streets
Children of the streets

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Children of the streets
Description: Angola To live without war

Lobito, behind its old-fashioned decor, offers a pretty sad contrast: the now shabby rich colonial
villas by the sea, strongly contrast with the paradas, of the downtown decayed squats. According to the provincial authorities, these temporary refuges (abandoned toilets, car shells, containers, etc), shelter 450 children, of which 18 girls, left to themselves. In all, over 2500 minors survive from begging and small jobs, prostitution, most often for girls ? on the coastline of Benguela-Lobito. Some come from families dispersed during the war, others victims of domestic violence, who chose to run away from their families and seek refuge on the streets.

The place, baptised As tendas (the tents in portuguese), consists of a group of eight deteriorated military tents, where 120 teenagers live confined, and is officially recognized by the city authorities. A great step, but clearly insufficient, considering the needs in terms of health and hygiene, the children suffer from various pathologies such as malaria, scabies, skin diseases, breathing infections, tuberculosis. For the prevention of sexually transmissible infections. Sanitary conditions: two deep holes near a stretch of polluted sea are used as drinkabe water for washing. A crucial aspect of medical follow-up, as those small migrants often sail by boat to Luanda to seek work.

Life gets organised around the tents that Okutiuka grabbed from the Administration. The site baptised parada dos fobados (?starving squats?), is run with authority by Jesus, 17 years old, the well-named. To avoid being excluded, no more filthy rags of chupilingua, this addiction to fuel , should be found laying around. The teenagers respect the rules: up at dawn, washing up, then cleaning the place before school. Tonight, to an air of rap, they show off their arms bearing scars made with used blades. Anxiously eyeing all this, Jesus scrutinizes the horizon: a mackerel has moved her hovel to just 100 metres from here, as though to spy upon this small fragile world. Just like a deadly sword of Damocles.

Text: Guillaume Plassais Journalist
Keywords: lehr-, st?phane, Angola, children, streets, humanitarian, Africa, topicality, interactive, visit, photographs, documentary, discovered, photo-report, hunger, malnutrition, journalist, journalism, AIDS, neuro-graph
Date: 08.01.2006 00:05
Hits: 10311
Downloads: 0
Rating: 2.83 (12 Vote(s))
File size: 197.6 KB
Added by: Stephane Lehr

IPTC Info
Caption: Réinsérer les enfants des rues de Lobito
Lobito, deuxième ville portuaire en Angola, compte 2000 enfants et adolescents dans les rues. Médecins du Monde cherche à entrer en contact avec ces enfants par le biais de la santé. Ces mineurs livrés à eux-mêmes proviennent souvent de familles dispersées pendant la guerre. Les autres, victimes de violences domestiques, ont préféré quitter le domicile familial pour se réfugier dans la rue. L' objectif de MDM est de leur prodiguer les premiers soins depuis un poste de santé fourni par le ministère de la Santé angolais. La structure devrait devenir la pierre angulaire de nos activités, pour l’accueil des enfants et la distribution de médicaments.
Former les personnels
Le personnel sera formé par les équipes de MDM dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec les autorités locales. En effet, dans la perspective de l’extension du programme, l’association reçoit l’appui d’éducateurs spécialisés de l’Institut national des enfants, une organisation officielle angolaise mais aussi celui d’ONG locales comme l’association Okuchiuka (le « retour » en umbundu), dédiée aux droits des mineurs. Des cours d’éducation à l’hygiène et à la santé, destinés aux enfants qui occupent des tentes dressées par les autorités, devraient être mis en place de même que des latrines et des points d’eau. La prévention des maladies sexuellement transmissibles s’appuiera sur des programmes existants comme celui sur le sida initié par la délégation espagnole.
Un suivi médical informatisé
Les équipes de MDM souhaitent détecter les enfants les plus vulnérables et assurer leur suivi en dressant des fiches informatiques. Un aspect déterminant dans le programme, car les mineurs voyagent fréquemment entre les ports de Lobito et de Luanda. Ce plan doit s’accompagner d’une action de lobbying auprès des autorités pour l’ouverture de l’hôpital de Benguela aux enfants. A Luanda, un appui en médicaments est prévu pour des structu



© STEPHANE LEHR/DEADLINE PRESS PHOTOS
Caption writer: GUILLAUME PLASSAIS
Byline: STEPHANE LEHR
Credit: © STEPHANE LEHR/DEADLINE PRESS P
Date created: 01/04/05
City: LOBITO
Country: Singapore
Copyright Notice: © STEPHANE LEHR/DEADLINE PRESS PHOTOS

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