On November 10, 2023, the Emergency Reception Centre JASKA (“Jama Shule na Kazi”, meaning “Family, School and Work”) was inaugurated in the Kenya Commune in Lubumbashi. This inauguration marked an important day for street children and street social workers who are members of the CATSR (Comité d’Appui au Travail Social de Rue).
The JASKA Centre was built on the premises of the Department of the Provincial Division of Social Affairs. It has the capacity to accommodate 40 boys and girls and is equipped with dormitories, sanitary facilities, kitchens, offices and an infirmary. Street children are already excited about having a dining hall and dormitories.
The objective of the JASKA Centre is to improve the support conditions for vulnerable children by providing them with a transitional place before their integration into a family or an accommodation center suitable for their situation.
The offices of the JASKA Centre will also host meetings with other child protection stakeholders in Lubumbashi, aiming to enhance collaboration in this sector.
The creation of the JASKA Centre has been well-received by social workers as it will help alleviate the overcrowding conditions in existing centers and homes.
The construction of the JASKA Center took place within the framework of the Dynamo International DGD 2022-2026 program, implemented in partnership with CATSR and supported by Wallonie-Bruxelles International.
The inauguration ceremony was well-attended, including by members of the community in the Kenya Commune, street children, street workers, the national coordinator of CATSR Joli Apema, the Jaska Centre’s director Jean Balibwa, and the representative of Wallonia-Brussels International Annie Kabeya. Dynamo International was represented by its board president Bertrand Carsin and its director Edwin de Boevé.
The establishment of the JASKA Centre follows the success of the Likemo Center in Kinshasa, which opened in 2018. Today, this center has become a reference point for street children and youth, as well as street workers from CATSR in Kinshasa.