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

De bortglömda unga

Nästan 600 miljoner människor mellan åldrarna 10 och 24 år är drabbade av konflikter runt om i världen. Tidigare i år mötte vi sex unga människor som hade tvingats fly från sina hem i DR Kongo. Här berättar de sina historier av kaos, separation och hopp.

Att vara ung internflykting är mycket svårt. I flyktens kaos kan unga människor separeras från föräldrar och släktingar, och belastas med ansvar för yngre syskon och andra familjemedlemmar.

Från att ha varit unga och bekymmerslösa finner de sig oväntat stå ensamma med allt ansvar. Deras en gång ljusa framtid fördunklas nu av osäkerhet och varje dag består i en kamp för att överleva. De plötsliga förändringarna gör dem förvirrade, ledsna och rädda, men de har inget annat val än att fortsätta, med den nya ansvarsbördan på sina axlar.

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
Läs bildtexten Martin är 19 år och bor i Mwaka-lägret för människor på flykt, i utkanten av staden Kalemie i östra DR Kongo. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun / NRC Flyktinghjälpen

Föreställ dig att du vaknar upp mitt i natten, till ljudet av skrik, våld och skottlossning. Det finns ingen tid att förlora. Du måste springa, bort från kaoset, så fort du någonsin kan. Detta är verklighet för många internflyktingar. Plötsliga våldsutbrott ger inte utrymme för förberedelser.

Ingen tid att hitta sin familj

När grupper attackerade Martins by sprang byborna i olika riktningar. Martin och hans pappa sprang i samma riktning, men hans mamma sprang i motsatt riktning. Martin hade inte tid att få med sig någonting.

Efter fyra timmars vandring kom Martin och hans pappa till Mwaka-lägret. Nästa dag bestämde sig pappan för att gå tillbaka hem för att se om han kunde hitta några av deras tillhörigheter och ta hand om djuren. Pappan kom aldrig tillbaka.

Martins mamma och fem syskon lever fortfarande, men de flydde till en annan stad långt borta. Martin kan inte ta sig dit, det är för långt och för farligt. Han kämpar med förlusten av sin pappa och sina vänner och saknar sin mamma och sina syskon.

Han har bott alldeles ensam i Mwaka-lägret i östra Kongo-Kinshasa i ett år nu. Han överlever genom att leta efter och byta ved mot mat. Om han har tur får han ett mål om dagen. Vissa dagar äter han inget alls.

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Läs bildtexten Awezaye, 19, står i kö för NRC Flyktinghjälpens distribution av mat och kontanter. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun / NRC Flyktinghjälpen

Fyra dagars flykt till fots

För ett år sedan vaknade Awezaye på natten av att hennes mamma grät och skrek ”Jag dör!”. Deras by hade attackerats i våldsamma konflikter mellan etniska grupper.

Awezaye reagerade snabbt. Hon tog tag i sin lillebror och sin lillasyster och flydde in i djungeln. Sedan gick de i fyra dagar. Awezayes föräldrar och yngsta syster, som bara var 18 månader, flydde åt ett annat håll. Hennes yngsta syster dog. Hennes föräldrar hamnade i ett annat område långt bort.

När Awezaye först kom till Mulgani-lägret mötte hon mycket svåra livsvillkor. Hon hade ingen tillgång till vare sig mat eller husrum. Därtill hade hon ansvar för sina två yngre syskon. NRC Flyktinghjälpen kunde hjälpa henne med husrum och kontanter till mat.

Awezaye saknar verkligen sina föräldrar, men hon tröstar sig med att de åtminstone lever. Hon drömmer om att få återförenas med sina föräldrar, att få gå i skolan igen och lära sig att bli skräddare så att hon kan få ett jobb.

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
Läs bildtexten Masimango är bara 18 år gammal. Han känner en börda eftersom han måste vara stark för sin yngre bror Bone, 8, trots de utmaningar de möter varje dag. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun / NRC Flyktinghjälpen

Att vara stark för sin bror

Masimango, 18 år, och Bone, 8 år, är bröder och bor i Tanganyika-lägret. När deras by attackerades för två år sedan dödades deras föräldrar och äldre syskon. De två bröderna har bara varandra kvar i livet.

Att vara en ung internflykting utan föräldrar är mycket svårt. Det är tufft att vid 18 års ålder ha hela ansvaret för sin lillebror. Masimango känner en enorm press att vara stark för Bones skull, trots de utmaningar de möter varje dag. Han saknar sin familj och sitt gamla liv.

Han drömmer att han och Bone ska kunna gå i skolan igen och att han en dag kan bli hjälparbetare så att han kan hjälpa andra som drabbats av konflikter. Han försöker vara optimistisk och säger att så länge han får mat kan han förbli stark nog att till slut hitta ett jobb. Allt handlar om att överleva en dag i taget.

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
Läs bildtexten Rachel, 20, och hennes familj var tvungna att fly under natten för fyra år sedan, när det bröt ut konflikter mellan väpnade grupper. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun / NRC Flyktinghjälpen

Trots de dagliga utmaningar de möter drömmer unga internflyktingar om en bättre framtid. Med hjälpen från NRC Flyktinghjälpen blir några av drömmarna verklighet.

Drömmar om en ljusare framtid

Rachel bor med sina föräldrar, syskon och två år gamla dotter i staden Kitchanga. Men hon känner sig inte trygg som ung internflykting och är rädd hela tiden. Hon känner sig också utfryst för att hon är singelmamma.

Hon går NRC Flyktinghjälpens sexmånaders sömnadskurs i Kitchanga. Innan hon började kursen fanns det inget för henne att göra i lägret. Nu är hon glad över att kunna utnyttja tiden till att utvecklas och tillägna sig nya färdigheter. Hon älskar att sy och drömmer om att öppna ett eget skrädderi så att hon kan tjäna pengar och låta sin dotter gå i skolan.

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
Läs bildtexten För två år sedan tvingades Albert, 22, hans fru och två barn fly till Kitchanga efter att en beväpnad grupp attackerade hans by, sköt människor och brände hus. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun / NRC Flyktinghjälpen

Hopp trots bristen på möjligheter

Albert, 22 år, bor också i staden Kitchanga med sin fru, två barn och föräldrar. Eftersom Alberts föräldrar är till åren behöver han ta hand om dem också, utöver sin fru och sina barn. Han berättar för oss om svårigheterna med att vara ung internflykting. Det är brist på arbetstillfällen och varje dag är en kamp för att överleva.

Albert går en NRC-kurs för att utbilda sig till mekaniker. Han drömmer om att arbeta i en bilverkstad så att han kan tjäna tillräckligt med pengar för att återuppta sina universitetsstudier. Han skulle också vilja stötta sin fru i att starta ett eget företag och hoppas att de en dag kan återvända till sin hemby tillsammans.

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
Läs bildtexten Justin är en matsäkerhetsassistent för NRC Flyktinghjälpen. Han förstår svårigheterna med ungdomar på flykt eftersom han själv var tvungen att fly och överleva under fruktansvärda förhållanden. Foto: Ingrid Prestetun / NRC Flyktinghjälpen

Att förstå kampen för att överleva

Justin Aganze arbetar för NRC Flyktinghjälpen. Han tilltalades av NRC Flyktinghjälpens vision på grund av sina egna erfarenheter som ung internflykting. Han förstår dem som har tvingats fly och deras kamp att överleva under värsta tänkbara förhållanden.

– Döden skulle ha varit en lättnad för vi led så svårt. Det var värre än helvetet, säger Justin när han tänker tillbaka på hur han och hans familj flydde från sin hemstad och gick i dagar, sökte skydd i skogar och kyrkor och fick mycket lite att äta.

Liksom de hjälporganisationer som hjälpte hans familj under den svåra tiden vill han också vara en hoppets fyrbåk för dem som upplever liknande svårigheter. Han har utvidgat sitt arbete utanför tjänsten med NRC Flyktinghjälpen och arbetar på sin fritid som ungdomsmentor.

Hur NRC stödjer unga internflyktingar i DR Kongo

Många skolor i Kongo-Kinshasa har brunnit ner i de pågående våldsamheterna eller används fortfarande som logi för internflyktingar. Många tusen barn och unga människor som flytt till byar på landsbygden kan inte gå i skolan, något som ger dem dåliga utsikter både på kort och lång sikt. Utan vuxna i sina liv är unga internflyktingar mycket beroende av stöd från ideella organisationer, som NRC Flyktinghjälpen.

NRC Flyktinghjälpen erbjuder dem anpassad undervisning och lärlingsprogram. Dessa program gör det möjligt för de unga att bli aktiva och engagerade medlemmar i sina samhällen.

Våra utbildningsteam i DR Kongo:

  • anordnar utbildningsmöjligheter som hjälper barn som gått miste om skoltid att komma ikapp sina jämnåriga och återintegreras i det formella skolsystemet
  • skyddar barn och ungdomar både fysiskt och psykiskt och ger en känsla av normalitet och rutin
  • utbildar lärare, auktoriteter och andra utbildningsintressenter i psykosocialt stöd, fredsarbete, skolklasshantering, förebyggande av sexuellt utnyttjande och övergrepp samt god skolledning
  • stödjer återuppbyggnad och nybyggnad av klassrum
  • erbjuder ungdomar utbildning så att de kan utveckla sina färdigheter och få vägledning till ett yrke

Läs mer om vårt arbete i DR Kongo