Rachel is twenty-years-old and lives with her parents, siblings and her 2-year-old daughter (name: Guylaine). She became pregnant when she was 17 with a boy from her village, but he disappeared when he revealed that she was expecting his child. Since August 2018, Rachel has been attending the NRC tailoring class in Kitchanga. These courses will last six months. After training, her dream is to start her own tailoring shop and to be able to give her daughter an education to in the future. She loves tailoring and she has made dresses for herself and her daughter. Before she was selected for the NRC tailoring class, she had nothing to do and now she is very happy to be able to attend the classes.
 
Rachel is from the village Ngingwe, Masisi territory, which is six kilometers from Kitchanga in the North Kivu province. She and her family had to flee during the night four years ago when the clashes broke out between armed groups. They travelled the whole night and reached Kitchanga in the morning. Rachel was very afraid when she had to flee and during this violence where she lost her grandmother and uncle. She misses them a lot. Rachel is still constantly afraid, and does not want to go back home until it’s safe. Since the attack, some people from the village have been back home to pick up food and their belongings, but they cannot sleep there, as the situation is still unsafe. Rachel has not been back home in Ngingwe since she and her family fled their home.
 
Rachel does not feel safe in Kitchanga either. She is scared that armed groups will enter Kitchanga and take over the town in the future. She does not feel well about being a displaced youth in Kitchanga. It is a big challenge for her because she is sometimes neglected. Since she also a single mother, people austersize her. 
 
There’s also a lack of food in Kitchanga, and Rachel does not have enough money to pay school fees, therefore she dropped out of school after second grade in secondary school. Rachel also struggles to pay for health care and clothes for her daughter. After tailoring class, she usually helps her mother to do some household activities, for instance, fetching water and cooking dinner. 
 
 Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

Kaos, seperasjon og håp

Akkurat nå lever nesten 600 millioner mennesker i alderen 10 til 24 år i land med krig og konflikt. Vi møtte seks av dem - for å snakke om livet og fremtiden.

Barn og ungdom som blir tvunget på flukt er i en ekstremt vanskelig situasjon. I kaoset som oppstår kan det være de kommer bort fra sine foreldre. Kanskje sitter de plutselig igjen med ansvaret for yngre søsken eller andre i familien som ikke klarer seg selv. Fra å ha levd et normalt ungdomsliv med skole og arbeid, drømmer og planer for fremtiden, handler nå hver eneste dag om usikkerhet, angst og kampen for å overleve.

De seks ungdommene vi møter her kommer fra Den demokratiske republikken Kongo - et land herjet av rå vold og blodig konflikt. Ungdommene er alle blitt drevet på flukt.

Her forteller de sine historier. Som handler om kaos, seperasjon og håp.

Martin is 19 years old and lives in the Mwaka IDP Camp in the outskirts of Kalemie city. Martin has fled two times in his life; one time when he was a small child which he does not remember much of, and the second time was last year. 
He now lives in a small hut and struggles to find food every day. There’s a lack of food and to survive, he has to wake up early in the morning and go out to cultivate or fetch firewood that he can sell in order to earn some money. If he is lucky, he can earn 1000 Congolese franc, which is about 60 cent (USD). If he is lucky, he can get one meal a day, but there’s days he doesn’t eat anything. 
 
Martin came to the camp last year after he fled from his village Kuzo. There was clashes between ethnical groups in the Tanganyika province where he used to live. The groups attacked during the night and Martin immediately fled into the bush and ran without looking back. Everyone in the village ran different directions and Martin saw many people who was injured. Martin’s father ran in the same direction as him, while his mother ran in an opposite direction. It was total chaos, and everything happened so quickly. Martin didn’t even have time to bring anything with him. 
 
After four hours of walking, they arrived at the camp. The following day, Martin’s father decided to return to their home to see if he could find some of their belongings and secure their animals. Unfortunately, he never returned that day. Martin’s father was killed. 
 
Martin lost absolutely everything he had. He lost all his clothes and belongings. He had 17 chickens and 5 goats, which was the only access to food he had, but he lost them too. Also, three of his close friends died. He used to play football and sing in a choir with them. His brother-in-law was also killed. His mother and 5 siblings are still alive, but they fled to Manono town which is too far away. Martin can’t go there because of the distance and because it would be too dangerous. Martin is all by himself and he has nothing left. He struggles with the loss of his father and friends, and misses his mother and siblings. And on top of the that, the living conditions are not good. 
 
Martin wants to have a better life like other youth in the rest of the world. He had to drop out of school due to the conflict, so he hopes to continue his studies one day. He would like to be an aid-worker and work for an NGO. Unfortunately, he can’t afford to pay the school fees. 
 Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Martin bor i Mwaka-leiren i utkanten av byen Kalemie i det østlige Kongo. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Tenk deg at du våkner opp en natt til lyden av grufulle skrik, blodig vold og drepende skudd. Alle instinktene dine forteller deg at nå må du komme deg vekk. Du må løpe bort fra kaoset så fort du orker og prøve å komme så langt unna som du bare kan. Akkurat slik er virkeligheten for folk som blir drevet på flukt. Voldelige angrep kommer når man minst venter det. Det er heller ikke tid til å ta med seg noe.  

Martin mistet for mye

Da væpnede grupper angrep landsbyen til Martin, 19, var det kaotiske tilstander og folk løp i alle retninger. Martin og faren løp samme vei, mens moren hans forsvant i motsatt retning.

Etter fire timer kom far og sønn frem til flyktningleiren Mwaka, øst i Kongo. Neste dag bestemte faren seg for å dra hjem til landsbyen. Han bekymret seg for husdyrene deres og han ville hente noen av familiens eiendeler. I flyktningleiren satt Martin og ventet på at han skulle komme tilbake. Men han kom aldri.

Martin har mistet alt han hadde. Det gamle livet sitt. Familien sin. Klærne sine, tingene sine. Han mistet 17 kyllinger og fem geiter som var hans eneste kilde til mat.

Tre av Martins aller beste venner døde. De var venner han hadde spilt fotball med, sunget i kor med. Også svogeren hans ble drept.

Moren og de fem søsknene hans lever. Men de flyktet en annen vei og havnet i en by langt borte. Altfor langt borte, det er for farlig å reise dit.

Så nå sitter Martin der. Alene. Han sitter der med tapet av faren. Han tenker på de døde vennene. Og han savner moren og søsknene.

Det er et år siden flukten. Fortsatt bor han i leiren. Han sanker ved som han selger og slik klarer han å skaffe litt penger til å kjøpe seg noe å spise. På gode dager har han nok til et måltid. Andre dager spiser han ikke noe som helst.

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Awezaye står i kø for å få hjelp fra Flyktninghjelpen: Mat og penger til å kjøpe nødvendige varer. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Til fots i fire dager

En svart natt for et år siden: Awezaye, 19, våknet av stemmen til moren som gråt og skrek: «Jeg dør». Awezaye hørte at folk var på flukt. Væpnede grupper sloss og landsbyen var under angrep.

Awezaye reagerte kjapt: Hun grep tak i lillebroren og en liten søster og flyktet med dem inn i bushen.

De gikk i fire dager.

Foreldrene og den yngste søsteren, som bare var 18 måneder gammel, hadde flyktet i en helt annen retning og endte opp på et sted langt borte.

Den første tiden i flyktningleiren Mulgani var veldig vanskelig for Awezaye. Hun hadde ikke noe å spise og ikke tak over hodet. Dette tynget henne også veldig: Det store ansvaret det er å ta vare på småsøsknene sine. Heldigvis kunne Flyktninghjelpen støtte de tre med et sted å bo og penger til mat.

Aweyaze savner foreldrene sine. Men hun trøster seg med at de tross alt lever.

De bor langt unna og hun har ikke råd til å reise dit. Men det hadde uansett ikke gått an å dra så langt. Det er for farlig.

Drømmen er å bli gjenforent med foreldrene. Aweyaze vil gjerne også fortsette på sin påbegynte yrkesopplæring i skreddersøm slik at hun en dag kan forsørge seg selv.

Masimango and Bone are brothers and they live together in an IDP camp in the Tanganyika Province. Masimango is 18 years old and fled for the first time in his life with his younger brother Bone who is 8 years old. They used to have a completely normal life back home in Nyunzu, but one afternoon two years ago, there was a clash between ethnical armed groups and they attacked the village. Masimango and Bone had done older sister and one older brother, but they both died during the attack. Their parents were killed as well. They still have some surviving relatives, but they fled to other villages so haven’t kept in touch. Masimango and Bone fled for hours until they reached a safe place where they were given a lift together with some other refugees from the village, with the train to Kaseke. 
 
The life in the IDP camp is very difficult. They are in a lack of food and they can only eat when they receive support and assistance from a NGO, or other people if they are lucky. They depend on support from humanitarian organisations like NRC. NRC has supported them with 50 USD so they received things they need in order to protect themselves and survive. They got a plastic sheet to protect their temporary shelter. If they don’t receive support from NGOs, the only option they would have is to beg. Masimango and Bone has some friends in the camp including an elderly person who support them and sometime provide the food and water.

Masimango is only 18-year-old, and he feels a big burden because he needs to be strong for his younger brother, despite the challenges they meet every day. He is very sad over the situation that they are suddenly in. It’s hard for him to be the only responsible person for his younger brother. The huge life change happened so quickly and they’ve made such a big impact on their lives. Being a displaced youth with no parents who can support them is extremely difficult. They hope for their future to be brighter.

Masimango wishes that he and Bone can go back to school. He had to drop out of school in 6th grade in primary school. Masimango would like to become an aid-worker so he can assist other people in need due to the on-going conflict. Masimango misses his family and his old life so much, but he tries to stay optimistic and says that as long as he gets food, he can stay strong and alive so he will eventually find a job. It’s all about surviving day-by-day.

 Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Masimango er bare 18 år, likevel har han fått en veldig stor oppgave: Eneansvar for lillebror Bone. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

For Bones skyld

Brødrene Masimango, 18, og Bone, 8, bor i flyktningleiren Tangayika. Da landsbyen deres ble angrepet for to år siden, ble begge foreldrene deres og en eldre søster og bror, drept. Nå har de to brødrene bare hverandre.

Alt endret seg så fort.

Masimango fylles av tristhet. Han savner familien og livet slik det var før. Han tenker på at han er foreldreløs og befinner seg i en ekstremt vanskelig situasjon.

Han er så ung. Og det er alvorlig å ha ene-ansvaret for en lillebror. Men han har bestemt seg for å være sterk. For Bones skyld.

Masimango prøver å holde på optimismen. Han sier at så lenge han klarer å få tak i mat, skal han nok klare å få seg en jobb.

Akkurat nå handler alt om å overleve dag for dag. Men i fremtiden vil han bli hjelpearbeider. Han vil hjelpe andre som har fått livet sitt ødelagt av krig.

Rachel is twenty-years-old and lives with her parents, siblings and her 2-year-old daughter (name: Guylaine). She became pregnant when she was 17 with a boy from her village, but he disappeared when he revealed that she was expecting his child. Since August 2018, Rachel has been attending the NRC tailoring class in Kitchanga. These courses will last six months. After training, her dream is to start her own tailoring shop and to be able to give her daughter an education to in the future. She loves tailoring and she has made dresses for herself and her daughter. Before she was selected for the NRC tailoring class, she had nothing to do and now she is very happy to be able to attend the classes.
 
Rachel is from the village Ngingwe, Masisi territory, which is six kilometers from Kitchanga in the North Kivu province. She and her family had to flee during the night four years ago when the clashes broke out between armed groups. They travelled the whole night and reached Kitchanga in the morning. Rachel was very afraid when she had to flee and during this violence where she lost her grandmother and uncle. She misses them a lot. Rachel is still constantly afraid, and does not want to go back home until it’s safe. Since the attack, some people from the village have been back home to pick up food and their belongings, but they cannot sleep there, as the situation is still unsafe. Rachel has not been back home in Ngingwe since she and her family fled their home.
 
Rachel does not feel safe in Kitchanga either. She is scared that armed groups will enter Kitchanga and take over the town in the future. She does not feel well about being a displaced youth in Kitchanga. It is a big challenge for her because she is sometimes neglected. Since she also a single mother, people austersize her. 
 
There’s also a lack of food in Kitchanga, and Rachel does not have enough money to pay school fees, therefore she dropped out of school after second grade in secondary school. Rachel also struggles to pay for health care and clothes for her daughter. After tailoring class, she usually helps her mother to do some household activities, for instance, fetching water and cooking dinner. 
 
 Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten En natt for fire år siden måtte Rachel og familien hennes flykte fra landsbyen sin. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Til tross for de altfor store utfordringene de seks ungdommene vi møter her står ovenfor, er det ingen som kan ta fra dem drømmen om en bedre fremtid. Og noen ganger, takket være hjelp fra Flyktninghjelpen, går drømmen i oppfyllelse.

Rachels drømmer

Rachel, 20, er en av de heldige. Nesten hele familien hennes klarte å flykte i samlet flokk. Nå som de må bo i en flyktningleir, har de i hvert fall hverandre. Rachel bor sammen med sine foreldre, søsken og sin to år gamle datter i Kitchanga.

Tro likevel ikke at livet er enkelt. Som ung kvinne føler ikke Rachel seg bestandig trygg i byen. Og som alenemor kjenner hun seg utstøtt.

Men nå som hun har fått noe meningsfylt å gjøre, er livet tross alt lettere: Hun har fått plass på Flyktninghjelpens yrkesopplæringskurs.

Rachel elsker å sy og nå holder hun på å lære seg skreddersøm. Tankene kretser ikke lenger så mye rundt det som er vanskelig. Rachel drømmer om å åpne sitt eget lille skredderverksted i fremtiden. Hun vil tjene penger slik at hun en dag kan sende datteren sin på skolen.

Albert is a 22-year-old from Tongo in Rutshuru territory, which is 80 to 90 kilometres from Kitchanga. 2 years ago, he, his wife, and two children had to flee to Kitchanga. An armed group attacked his village, shot people, and burned down houses. People ran in every direction, but luckily, Albert and his family managed to get to safety in all the chaos. Sadly, Albert’s older brother didn’t make it and he misses him a lot. Albert witnessed many people being killed that day, including his own brother, and the memories are very difficult to cope with.
 
The living conditions in Kitchanga are worse than in his home village, but he cannot go back because it is not safe for him and his family. The family rents a house and lives together with Albert’s parents. They are quite old, so Albert has to take care of them as well as his own wife and children. 
 
Life is very tough being a displaced youth in Kitchanga. There’s a lack of job opportunities, but sometimes Albert finds work to do in the local community in order to earn money to buy food for his family. Even though he might be lucky to earn some money, every day is a battle to survive. 
 
Albert is attending the NRC Mechanic Training and his dream is to become a mechanic who repairs cars and has a job in a car shop. He loves learning mechanic skills and he is very interested in cars. When he finishes the class, he will look for a job, so he can pay school fees for himself. He would also like to continue studying at the university. He already knows some English and has a diploma from secondary school. Albert would also love to support his wife to start her own business in the future. He is positive and would like to go back home to his village if the situation gets safer and secure in the future.
 Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten For to år siden ble Albert, hans kone og to barn, i tillegg til hans gamle foreldre, flykte til Kitchanga etter at en væpnet gruppe angrep landsbyen deres, skjøt mennesker og brant ned alle hus. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Håp, tross alt

Albert, 22, bor også i Kitchanga. Der lever han sammen med kone, to barn og sine gamle foreldre som har behov for hans hjelp.

Han sier at det å være i hans situasjon, er vanskelig. Hver eneste dag er en kamp for å overleve.

Albert vil mest av alt kunne forsørge familien sin. Men hvordan gjør man det når det nesten ikke er arbeid å få?

Gjennom Flyktninghjelpen har han fått plass på et yrkesopplæringskurs. Han får opplæring i å bli mekaniker. Tanken er at han en dag skal få jobb på et bilverksted.

Lønnen skal han så bruke til å få seg en utdannelse ved universitetet. Han vil også gjerne hjelpe sin kone med å starte opp en liten bedrift. De har bestemt seg for at de en dag skal reise tilbake til landsbyen de kommer fra.

Justin Aganze works as a food security assistant with NRC for less than a year.  He was attracted to the organization based on his experience living as a displaced youth years ago in Tanganyika and the NGOs that helped his family during that difficult time.  Justin and his family fled their town and walked for days sheltering in forests and churches with very little to eat.

"Death would have been better because we were suffering so much.  It was worse than hell, " he said.

Justin understands the plight of displaced youth living because of that time he spent having to flee and survive in the worst conditions.  He has taken his work even beyond NRC and works in his spare time as a youth mentor.

Between October 25-26, 2018, NRC offered cash assistance to 7,900 people living in the Mwaka Displacement Camp in Tanganyika province giving them the opportunity to buy food, clothing and household items so that they can survive and have some comfort despite their difficult living conditions.


Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Les billedteksten Justin jobber for Flyktninghjelpen. Han har selv vært på flukt og forstår godt hvor vanskelig livet er for de unge han møter i flyktningleiren. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun/Flyktninghjelpen

Vet så altfor godt

Justin Aganze ville jobbe for Flyktninghjelpen. Han visste at der ville han få bruk for sine egne erfaringer som ung flyktning. For ham ville det være lett å forstå hvor tøft de unge egentlig har det. Han vet hva de må gå gjennom for å klare seg under så harde forhold. I dag er han ansatt som matsikkerhets assistent i Flyktninghjelpen.

-Vi tenkte at det hadde vært bedre å dø. Det var verre enn helvete, forteller Justin. Han snakker om tiden da krig og vold drev ham og familien vekk fra hjembyen. Da de måtte gå i dagevis, sove under trærne i skogen eller på gulvet i kirker, og ha lite å spise.

Familien fikk hjelp av en hjelpeorganisasjon. På samme vis ville Justin hjelpe andre som drives på flukt. I tillegg til jobben i Flyktninghjelpen, bruker han fritiden på å være mentor for ungdom.

Hans arbeid gir ungdommene håp.

Flyktninghjelpen og ungdom i DR Kongo

Mange skoler i DR Kongo har brent til grunnen under den pågående volden. Andre skoler blir brukt som krisesentre for mennesker som er fordrevet.

Flere tusen barn og unge som er på flukt oppholder seg i landsbyer og leirer der det ikke finnes noe passende skoletilbud. Det gir dårlige utsikter både på kort og lang sikt.

Ungdom som ikke lenger har foreldre, blir ekstra avhengig av støtten de får fra Flyktninghjelpen og de andre humanitære organisasjonene.

Flyktninghjelpen støtter barn og unge ved å tilby dem ulike tilpassede utdanningsprogrammer. Slik blir ungdommene også aktive, engasjerte medlemmer av lokalsamfunnet.   

Dette gjør utdanningsteamene våre i DR Kongo:

  • Hjelper barn til å ta igjen undervisning de har mistet under flukten, slik at de skal kunne gå tilbake til det formelle skolesystemet
  • Beskytte barn og unge fysisk og psykisk ved å skape en følelse av normalitet og rutine i hverdagen
  • Trene opp lærere, myndigheter og andre interessenter i utdanning og psykososial støtte, fredsopplæring, klasseledelse, forebygging av seksuell utnyttelse og overgrep, samt god styring i skoleledelse
  • Gi støtte til rehabilitering av klasserom og bygging av nye klasserom
  • Gi ungdom utdanning slik at de skal utvikle sine ferdigheter og bli veiledet mot et yrke.