Vulnerable children in Koumra, Chad
In Chad, as in other regions of Africa, there are a great number of children living on the streets. These children, for various reasons (like the death of one or both parents, poverty, rejection or abuse for instance) live and sleep on the streets, scrounging for meals in garbage heaps and finding themselves totally alone when in need of medical or other help. They have no one to pay for their schooling and no one to turn to for protection and to defend their rights.
Handicaps affect many Chadian children, however these children are rarely able to access the resources necessary to help them develop their full potential. Many are hidden away out of shame or left to fend for themselves.
Kèmndà Center is a Christian non profit organization working in Koumra, in the south of Chad, in order to provide support for vulnerable children. Kèmndà Center endeavours to provide shelter, physical care and education to children who would otherwise have no one to help them.
Chad is a vast landlocked country, located in the heart of Africa, in a place that forms a large crossroads of civilizations between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The country is bordered by Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. According to the World Population Review, Chad had an estimated population of 15.59 million in 2019. Most of the population is concentrated in the fertile areas, south of the rivers Logone and Chari, as well as in the urban areas. The capital, Ndjamena, is the largest city, with a population of approximately one million.
Among other things, Chad belongs to the group of least developed countries. The country is unfortunately undermined by civil war and armed gangs. In addition, the chronic budget deficit means that employees are not paid regularly and the country remains dependent on international aid.
Chad is a truly multicultural. More than 130 languages are spoken by various ethnic groups, with French and Arabic being the two official languages. Sara Madjingany, a tonal language, is spoken by many people in the south of Chad where Centre Kèmndà is located. Education is not available in Sara Madjingany, so the children receive their education in French or in Arabic. Muslims make up more than half of the population, 20% call themselves Catholics, 15% are Protestant, with the rest being animists or traditionalists.
The educational sector in Chad has been experiencing some difficulties in recent decades. Recurring strikes by teachers and students, because of the lack of adequate infrastructure, result in a noticeable decline in student achievements and a rise in drop-outs. In addition to these findings, courses during the academic year are frequently disrupted during the rainy season due to the poor quality of the infrastructure and the difficulty of access to schools.
The government often talks about health promotion in Chad, but in reality, it is very difficult for the population to have access to medical care, mainly for financial reasons, but also because of the lack of infrastructure. Public hospitals are sadly lacking in resources, and the price of private hospitals is beyond the reach of most people. In Chad, before seeing the doctor you must pay for a medical file to be opened, and then you must pay to see the doctor. Many are unable to then pay for the treatment required, if it is even available.