War Child* teamed up with art charity AptART* to paint a mural on the side of a street children’s drop-in centre in Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The children were involved in designing the mural and painted it themselves. It includes the lion (symbol of the DRC), the colours of the Congolese flag, and a big peace symbol.
Some of the 45 children involved in the project stand in front of the finished mural
The children also received lessons in portrait painting. Most of the street children War Child works with had never used a paintbrush before and very few have ever attended school. Each child was given their photograph, a paintbrush and a canvas to put their new skills to work.
The self portraits of the children are ready to be stretched on to canvas to be used in an exhibition.
Two of the children work on their self-portraits.
Decades of conflict and poverty have left many families unable to properly support their children.
The centres supported by War Child are a haven where children can eat, wash their clothes and get access to the education and counselling that help to rebuild their lives.
More than half of the girls supported by War Child in Goma are survivors of sexual violence.
Much of Goma is still covered in lava after the eruption of the nearby Mount Nyiragongo in 2002, which devastated the town.
The children standing in front of their mural.
*This is my first time coming across either of these two organizations and so far I have not found any alarming or concerning information about them. If anyone has information or any criticism about either War Child or AptART, feel free to drop it in dynamicafrica’s inbox as my quick research was probably not thorough enough.