At 11 years old, Obède made his first return to school thanks to the support of the SDG Fund project.
Lékoumou is one of the departments of the Republic of Congo, located in the west of the country, whose capital is Sibiti. In Makoubi, about 30 km from Sibiti, we met Obède, an 11-year-old boy with laughing eyes.
Obède's life is different from that of most little boys his age. He lost his mother and was taken in by his grandmother with whom he has lived since he was little.
“To survive, I did odd jobs in the neighborhood, I sold ice water, I lifted cans of water for 100 FCFA or 200 FCF. These 50 liter cans were really heavy for a child like me, ”reveals Obède.
The village of Makoubi is one of 22 villages in the Lékoumou department to have hosted training for community members on child protection mechanisms (Village Committee for the Protection of the Child - CVPE).
In this department, more than 50% of indigenous children do not have a birth certificate against just over 19% nationally.
Thanks to the dynamism of the child protection committees supervised by the Departmental Directorate of Social Affairs, Obède was able to be identified and was given a birth certificate which finally gives it an identity.
“The teacher explained to me that the birth certificate will allow me to go to school."
Obède's dream was to go to school. He spent his days spying on the pupils of the village primary school, located not far from his home.
“Children my age go to school, from home I can hear them singing. I too want to be like them, wear a uniform, learn, have a meal every lunchtime and be able to play with friends in the schoolyard. It really hurt to hear them when I often spent long days at home doing nothing. "
“I have never been to school. My grandmother did not have enough money to pay me for school fees and school supplies."
With his birth certificate, Obède was finally able to be enrolled in the primary school in his village and he received a brand new school kit. He is very proud to show us his brand new school outfit too.
“I'm really happy to finally be in school and to be able to make friends,” says Obède. “When I grow up, I would like to own a large garage. I like to spend hours listening to the engines of the big trucks in the garage which is next to my house”, confides the young boy with his eyes sparkling with happiness.
The “Joint SDG Fund” project, which is part of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, obeys, in fact, the need to strengthen, among other things, the capacities of the target communities for the adequate use of social services. basic (education, protection, health and nutrition); improving access to land and other civil rights.
The project also contributes to advocacy for the effective implementation of laws and regulations aimed at the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples in general. It is implemented by three agencies of the United Nations System (WHO, WFP and UNICEF) which work with all departmental directorates. Two main bodies allow the effective implementation and monitoring of interventions, namely the departmental coordination committee chaired by the Prefect of the Lékoumou Department and the technical secretariat provided by the Departmental Director of Social Affairs of Lékoumou.