The partnership between Dynamo International and CATSR in the DRC

Dynamo International CATSR République Démocratique du Congo

Dynamo International has been working closely with the Street Social Work Support Committee  (CATSR) since 2006, as well as the Ministry for Social Affairs (MINAS), and more specifically the Directorate for Child Protection Social Initiatives (DISPE).

CATSR’s aims and objectives

CATSR aims to showcase and promote street social work, and to help devise structural and sustainable responses to the issues encountered on the ground and experienced by the most vulnerable communities, and more specifically by children in difficult situations.

The vibrant and fruitful partnership between Dynamo International and CATSR enabled a large number of projects to be put in place and above all effective advocacy campaigns to be run targeting the Congolese public authorities, lobbying for a new child protection law in the country. As a result, Law number 9 on child projection in the DRC was enacted on 10 January 2009. Street social work is recognized in the DRC, which is unique in Africa, even if public funding is taking time to materialize.

2017-2021 DGD Programme

Working in partnership with CATSR and DISPE, DI is implementing the DGD (Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid) 2017-2021 Programme – “Access to children’s rights, including children in street situations, is facilitated by interaction between the public authorities, the general public, and civil society.”

The DGD programme covers six provinces in the country (Boma, Bukavu, Kananga, Mbuji-Mayi, Lubumbashi and Kinshasa) with the national coordination body being based in Kinshasa.

In this instance, Dynamo International in partnership with CATSR and the DISPE is endeavouring to help bolster the application of the law on child protection in the DRC with a special emphasis being placed on children in street situations and their specific needs via the street social work method. And more specifically, facilitate access to rights for children, including street children, by means of interaction between the public authorities, the general public and civil society.

The Emergency Shelter for Children in Street Situations

An emergency shelter was built in 2017 with the support of the 2017-2021 DGD programme. The Ministry of Social Affairs provided a plot of land for the shelter in the district of Bandal so that the CAU-Likemo (Centre d’accueil d’urgence pour les enfants en situation de rue ­– Emergency Shelter for Children in Street Situations) could be built.

Currently, the Likemo Centre is operating and open 24/7. CAU-Likemo is an emergency shelter where children in street situations receive counselling and other forms of support, such as:

  • Emergency accommodation.
  • Food.
  • The chance to use washing facilities.
  • Medical care provided by a nurse.
  • A recreational space.

An audio report on street children at the LIKEMO-CASTR emergency reception centre in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for “7 milliards de voisins” broadcast on 5 September 2018 by Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Support for children in street situations

Support for children in street situations is provided by street social workers, who are members of CATSR, and the social workers deployed by MINAS to work on this programme.

The support in all the provinces covered by the programme comprises:

  • Family reintegration.
  • Back-to-school support.
  • Reintegration into vocational training institutions.
  • Administrative formalities.
  • Referral of children in street situations to appropriate structures.
  • Community awareness-raising about the rights of the child.

Contact person

Joli APEMA, national coordinator of CATSR

Annick Niyonzima, project manager

Project partners

APEFE logo
Enabel Logo
Plate-forme Droits de l'Enfant dans la Coopération au Développement

With the support of

DGD Belgium Logo
Logo Wallonie-Bruxelles International (W.B.I.)
Commune d'Uccle logo
Commune de Woluwé-Saint-Pierre Logo
Fondation d'entreprise Air France
Lions Club Logo