An emergency hotline to help children in need in Congo

In the Republic of Congo, many children end up on the streets every year. Together with our partner REIPER, we are constantly seeking to provide vulnerable young people with quality support. 

As part of our "Tobatela Bana*" project, we have just set up an emergency hotline. This dedicated freephone number will provide children and adults with a non-judgmental and appropriate listening service, as well as advice and information on support and care options. 

The main purpose of the hotline is to respond to emergency situations faced by vulnerable children. Until now, there has been no hotline for child victims of abuse, for witnesses of abuse, or simply to report a child in a street situation to childcare facilities.

"The hotline will help to make REIPER's work better known and more legitimate among the Congolese population: children, families, public authorities and other child protection actors. (...) " Joseph Likibi, REIPER Coordinator

Previously, the REIPER coordination teams and the care centres that are members of this network were regularly contacted directly, and often even on their personal telephone, regarding requests for urgent care for young people. Faced with these situations, the professionals were not always able to offer adequate assistance, depending on the situation and the capacity of the centre.  

"This hotline will enable REIPER and its teams to act earlier to reduce the risk factors associated with trauma and its consequences. Prevention interventions will allow REIPER to identify factors ahead of the manifestation of a problem and enable interventions that improve protection (e.g. social support)," explains Joseph Likibi.

Within the REIPER member structures, teams of staff have been set up to act as relays. To enable the system to be implemented effectively, a training session was held in December 2022 on the posture and tools to be used. 

* Project co-financed by the European Union delegation in Congo