09/15/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 01:01
An estimated 15,000 minors live on the streets in the large city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Children and adolescents who got astray for different reasons, mainly family reasons.The Maison du Rêve of Sant'Egidio has now become an important meeting point for some of them in the huge district of Yopougon, which has more than a million inhabitants. The children stay overnight, have supper and breakfast. And above all, they have a chance to open themselves up to the future and realise some of their dreams. Solutions that show that life on the streets is not a life sentence and integration is always possible. Indeed it can be very fast through closeness and friendship. This is what has happened since October 2020 .
First of all, the youngest children, such as Samuel, Christ and Yann got back to school and passed examinations with good marks in June. The older ones were initiated into work, i.e. Moussa Bamba who has regained his independence, or Moussa Sidibe and Vivouin Fae, who have enrolled in a training centre and will soon get their independence too. The story of two young Beninese immigrants, Raymond and Samuel, is different, but with a happy ending. Having seen the hardness of life on the streets and the beauty of the house in which they had been welcomed for a few months, they got a job, decided to return to their country and build their future there.
Many young people living in the Maison du Rêve join the Community as volunteers and visit those living on the streets in the neighbourhood. They bring food and also help to defend against the pandemic, which is still a great danger, as few people have been vaccinated.And eventually children have been helped to seek out parents and relatives. This commitment sometimes means long journeys, yet a good number of children, who lived on the streets, could be reunited with their families.