The Kids’ Night In series, the ‘little sister’ spin-off from Girls’ Night In, supported by some of the biggest names in children’s books including J.K.Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson, continues to fund War Child projects with every royalty cheque that arrives from HarperCollins and Puffin, among its international publishers. One of these projects is in the troubled region of Kinshasa, in Congo.
Pictured below, Jacqueline Wilson and J.K.Rowling (Wikimedia Commons).
KIDS’ NIGHT IN AND THE GIRLS OF KINSHASA
Girls living and working on the streets of Kinshasa face multiple threats. With few choices, most turn to sex work as a means of earning a livelihood and are at extreme risk of sexual violence from street boys, public, police and the military.
This project is improving protection for Kinshasa’s vulnerable and marginalised street girls by providing them with support including a mobile “night-bus” outreach service offering access to medical and psychosocial support. See image below, from War Child Australia.
A 24-hour drop-in centre is providing girls with a safe space to wash, leave their belongings and have a hot meal. We’re also running educational and recreational activities through the centre. There is a nurse and social worker for counselling, medical support and referral where necessary. During the course of the project, we will also reunify 100 girls with their families, where possible and desirable from both sides. Negative community attitudes towards street girls, including of street boys and police will improve through sensitization. Thanks to every author, illustrator, editor, publisher, agent, librarian and book lover who has helped the Kids’ Night In series become a global success story and funded projects like the Kinshasa Drop In Centre.