The Luanda Streetchildren’s Project was one of the first projects Kofup adopted back in 2003, and it has been a real joy to see it going from strength to strength each year. The project feeds, clothes and educates children who would otherwise be living in rags in the dirt on the side of the road, with no caring adult to look after them and in danger of developing a glue-sniffing habit.
Last year Kofup trustees were delighted to be at the official opening of the new night shelter, which means that the children can now be safely housed at night whilst their social problems are being sorted out. Kofup funded a significant part of the cost of the shelter.
This year the trustees met 17 clean, healthy, well-fed children whose lives are being transformed from hopelessness to the chance of a better future. They are lively, cheeky and love to entertain visitors with singing, dancing and drama.
Here is an extract from a poem which the children compiled together called ‘Street Life’:
Our life in the streets was a life of no hope. Life of picking rotten food from the dustbins.
Life of no clothes. Life of fighting all the time. Life of even burning each other.
Life of slaps and kicks. Life of no care for each other. Life of mistreatment.
Life of misused and manipulated. Life of no parent or guardian to care.
We cried for our parents, nobody came.
Yes that is the life we led in the streets.
We did work nobody else would dare do.
We emptied the overflowing latrines and unblocked sewages without protection.
We lived a life of begging. Whoever had mercy would give a shilling.
Those with bad hearts rewarded with slaps and blows. We lived a life of survival of the fittest.
And that is the life our brothers are still living in the streets today.
Some days we could sleep hungry if the dustbins were cleared.
That is the time we sniffed glue to forget our hunger. Though it did us no better...
We are also human beings, fellow citizens and God loves us all. We need you and you need us too. We would not have been here if not for you. We are who we are today because of you.
We ask for your prayers that the God who brought you here may continue to protect you always.
May he continue to lead us to be good children. We have a long way to go.
We have nothing special to offer in return.
Only we say from the bottom of our heart:
THANK YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE GIVEN US HOPE IN LIFE.