Thousands of children leave their homes and educations to work in the gold and diamond mining industry each year. Plan International aims to reunite these children with their families, including those who have become involved with armed groups.
After registering children who have become separated from their families, we provide them with psychosocial support while we search for their parents. This helps children to overcome the trauma they may have faced and act like children again.
In addition, we work to get children back in the classroom or connect them with access to vocational training so they have the means to provide for themselves in the long-term. We also help unregistered children get birth certificates.
As a result of our work Cyril, 17, has been reunited with his family for the first time since 2012. He had originally left his family with a friend to find work in Boda’s gold mines. "We were very worried, we had looked everywhere for years without result. So for us, he was dead," says Cyril’s mother Jacqueline.
Plan International came to my rescue and asked me if I would go home
"I could not find what I was looking for when I arrived in Boda," says Cyril. "I found a place to stay until the crisis hit the country in 2013. Boda was one of the most affected areas. Life was becoming very precarious."
Cyril was brought to the attention of Plan International by community members. "Plan International came to my rescue and asked me if I would go home," adds Cyril.
"I was very moved when the team from Plan International came to tell me the news of my son and promised to bring him back," says Jacqueline.