Pastors turn Advocates in Goma, D.R.C.

Pastors from 25 churches in the Goma region form a new network for child protection.

Pastors from 25 churches in Goma, Sake, and Mubambiro have united to change the future for children of this city.

Collaboration began in March when they gathered together for a workshop on child rights and child protection. The subject of child abuse provoked high emotion as traditional beliefs surfaced attributing blame for suffering in the community to so-called "child witches". Many were overwhelmed as they acknowledged they had dismissed children as unimportant and not spoken out on behalf of the most vulnerable. These pastors discussed the reasons why children end up on the streets, and how to respond to protect, nurture, and empower these children.

Pastors from 25 churches have united to change the future for children of this city.

As a result of the workshop, pastors have committed to share what they have learnt with their congregations, and to put in place child protection policies and procedures. In addition they have launched a new network called Avocats Pour Enfants en Situation Dificile (Advocates for Children in Difficult Circumstances).

One pastor, speaking after the workshop says: "We have seen many children suffering in Goma, but we have just ignored them. My ministry will not be the same again. From now on, children will be at its heart."

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