How do children live in Africa?
Childhood in Africa is not colorful and carefree. From an early age, children help with household chores, take care of younger siblings, bring water from a well or another reservoir. The most difficult situation is faced by children in villages and slums. They have to take care of themselves and are often used as cheap labor or undertake the burden of supporting the family. Then they go out to the street to sell plastic, collect garbage, beg or help out in the field. If parents care for their children and have the resources, they send their children to school. They usually have to pay tuition fees, because in many countries there is no free education and children need to be provided with basic provisions, from shoes and uniforms to stationary. For many families, this is an unbearable cost. Sometimes the children help at home in the morning before rushing to school, and continue helping at home after coming back. They have no time to study. Their homes have no electricity or running water. They can only study until early evening while there is daylight, but at that time they are often busy working at home or in the field.
Childhood taken away
African children not only help at home, but are also forced to work, conscripted into the army, and kicked out of their homes. According to statistics, more than one in five children in sub-Saharan Africa work in quarries, industry and mining. As many as 59 million children aged 5 to 17 work in hazardous places. They are exhausted and taken advantage of. Child cheap labor is used in the production of tobacco and coffee, the cultivation of cotton, sugar cane and bananas, and gold mining. Another problem is the recruitment or kidnapping of children into local armies. It is a common practice in Chad. Young people deprived of education and food report to the army themselves, because they are offered a minimum level of subsistence. Unfortunately, when they are injured, no one helps them. They are abandoned. In South Sudan, as of December 2013, up to 16,000 child soldiers were incorporated into the armed forces. In the Central African Republic, even 8-year-old children were used in warfare. Many of them had been kidnapped and forced to fight by force. They are used as messengers, spies, porters or human shields. Girls are used as sex slaves.
The forms of aid in Africa are very different. Many support children in their education and development through the Heart Adoption program. It really changes their reality and gives them a chance for a better future. Building and maintaining wells is also a priority due to water poverty, as is improving access to health care and actively involving residents in local projects.
One of the most common and well-known diseases in Africa is malaria, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is treatable, but too many people die of it due to poor access to health care and malnutrition. In 2018, 228 million people fell ill with malaria, and as many as 405,000 died. Most of the cases occured in sub-Saharan Africa. More than half were in Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Mozambique, Niger, and Nigeria.
Other diseases that African people struggle with are HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and measles. As many as 25.6 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are HIV positive. In addition, 2.6 million Africans suffer from tuberculosis each year, claiming 630,000 fatalities. In some countries, such as Ethiopia, rabies is a problem. A large number of stray dogs bite humans, while access to vaccinations is very limited. It is because of weak healthcare systems that many people die of treatable diseases. There is a shortage of hospitals, clinics, equipment, and doctors. On average, there is one doctor in Africa for 5,000 residents. Humanitarian aid to Africa is very important, especially during natural disasters and wars.
Aid to Africa
As part of our assistance, we support outposts in Makululu, Zambia and Port-Berge, Madagascar. The collection for African children is conducted on our website and Facebook. African children need our support. We help street boys in Kabwe and the poorest people in Port-Berge.