28 unemployed youths reintegrated into their community thanks to World Vision's support
By Didier Nagifi, Communications Officer
These 28 unemployed youths were called Kuluna in their community of Ngandu in the Kimbanseke commune. They were members of gangs often accused of acts that undermined the peace of the inhabitants. World Vision has trained these young people in driving, esthetics, computer skills and cutting and sewing. The Kuluna are gang members armed with bladed weapons, usually machetes, who operate in certain neighbourhoods of the capital Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and hold people to ransom day and night.
Ms. Florence Mambu, Director of World Vision DRC West Zone, gave a brief overview of the Youth Ready approach that World Vision has developed to bring hope to unemployed, out-of-school and disoriented youth.
"The experience of Ngandu youth can be replicated on other disaffected youth using Youth Ready, which is one of the technical approaches of the Education and Protection Project that helps young people gain practical skills in a short period of time. Through the sustainability journey, these youth learn moral and civic values that enable them to make responsible decisions for their future. At the end of this journey, they are oriented in a choice of trade apprenticeships according to their aptitudes. This apprenticeship makes them autonomous and useful to their community or society. They can form a trade body and be used for the development of their community and elsewhere. In particular in the construction of infrastructure, road building, sanitation and beautification of the city and neighborhoods, carpentry, masonry, cutting and sewing, hairdressing, etc.,"explains Florence Mambu, Director of the West Zone.
She also encouraged these young people to put to good use all the knowledge acquired during the learning period.
"To you young laureates, remain role models for others, you have benefited from World Vision support, go and teach others how to catch fish so that they become self-sufficient. God said, you will eat by the sweat of your brow, this order received from God is a promise of blessing. Work brings happiness and ill-gotten gains never benefit”. Adds Florence Mambu
"Dear young people, the teachings received during the viability trip, followed by the training on apprenticeship of trades, can enable you not only to stop the old hostile habits in your community but also to integrate socially and economically in your base society and be living testimonies of your peers. We would like to congratulate you for your decision and commitment", said Nicole Masanze, Manager of the Kinshasa Cluster.
Furthermore, Mr July MAMBULU, the executive secretary of city Province Kinshasa took the opportunity to congratulate World Vision for having supported the government in training these unemployed youth in various trades.
"I thank World Vision who agreed to put their time, opportunity to frame this youth called disadvantaged, which some of them were what is called Kuluna, which cause harm to several families. It is a youth who must help the republic and particularly the city province of Kinshasa," said Mr. July MAMBULU, the executive secretary of city province Kinshasa, Continuing, he urged this youth to have the will to put into practice all the knowledge invested in them. "The work invested in you, others have not benefited, it is a matter of will to put it into practice, as your will had pushed you to learn a trade, "he added.
"In any case, we used to sell our clothes to pay fines because of all the acts of theft and banditry that our children committed in the community. Our children have imposed a bad experience on us because of their bad behavior. But with the support of World Vision to the different trainings initiated for the benefit of our children, we have the strong conviction that our children will produce good results and peace will reign in our homes," says Celestine, mother of one of the unemployed youths.
"I was the marshal of Kuluna, I was one of the young people who were causing harm to people in our community, but God gave me grace, I became a driver. No one could think that I would reach the end of my training. Now I have a great consideration, people put me in my place because I was no longer counted as all the young people of good conduct in the community. Thank you to World Vision who made us useful young people in the community by making us learn the trade", testifies Héritier, one of the Youth Ready graduates.
"I was nicknamed Colonel Zabolo. When I was still in delinquency, with my troop, we were at the root of several incidents, I was no longer loved by many people, no parent would accept to see me walking around with his children. Thanks to World Vision, with the idea of reducing the rate of Kuluna in our community, I was selected to be part of the young learners. In the meantime, I was afraid, I thought it was a strategy to stop us. Sometime later, I had accepted to start my training in driving. These training fees were insured by World Vision to the tune of 150$. This was the reason why I had the courage to stick it out until the end. I was a bad guide, but today, thanks to Youth Ready, I have become a role model for my community and I have good friends,"said Serge, one of the Youth Ready graduates.
It is worth noting that the first class of this Youth Ready approach has transformed the lives of 28 unemployed youth, including 10 girls. Many of them have agreed to abandon their former life for a profession that will make them autonomous, productive and useful to society.