July 26 – Children of War

Yesterday morning I joined my friends again for some basketball–I feel
much better if I can get a little exercise it prepares me for the
work. After a game or two, I took a break and sat down beside Ginny
and Ben — we had lots of children around us talking and laughing
(mostly at us). A young boy approached–maybe 10 years old–it is
hard to determine age with malnutrition. He demanded money and became
very angry and aggressive, he had been drinking alcohol. He is street
child who likely either lost his parents to war or was born from rape
— often children who are “products” of rape are considered cursed by
the family and sent away, so many end up living on street.

As the young boy became more aggressive the other children called
over the men playing basketball to assist. Our friends came over to
try and calm the boy — they soon realized he was very drunk and would
not be calmed, so they asked him to leave the area — he finally did.
The men were clearly shaken with his behavior and we talked about the
impact of war and the destabilization of families and community. The
men fear, as do many here in Congo, that the next generation is at
terrible risk of living through many wars–as the youth only know war.

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