Voices of Youth Inspire! "If we do not change the world, the world will not change us either."
- 9 Articles
This week, “Beyond the voices!” is in Democratic Republic of
Congo, where we meet Ollie David, a street kid who decided to
take control of his life and to create an association by street
children, and for street children. A model of courage and
I am Ollie David Levi and I am the president of AEJERC- an association aimed at coaching youth and street children of Congo. I create wealth and values. I make the rich and the philosopher laugh and I am the one who knows that a man is a man only through others. I'm just a "shegue" (street kid).
I was abandoned at the age of 7, because I was accused of being a witch child. After several years in the street, I was picked up by a priest and had the opportunity to go to school. Unfortunately, I was kicked out again, but this time by the priest because I was misbehaving. So, I found myself back in the streets in the center of Kinshasa. From those streets, I made myself and my story. I became a beggar who was not afraid by anything.
However, when you get older, realities are not the same. So, in 2003, with other big brothers from the street, we created the Association of Street Children (AER)
- Tell us about this organization for street children. How have you created it? What is its mission? What are your plans for future actions?
At first when we tried to legalize the status of our association, we were denied. They told us that an organization of shégués for shégués was ‘useless’ to society. However, we insisted, and in 2004, together with Patrick Baby Litozo, we created AEJERC.
Today, AEJERC became an important organization with many partners. The organization offers a basic coaching in an open environment to many street children. We do everything to restore their hope, build their capacity and reintegrate them into a family setting. We also try to have engaged them in income-generating activities so that they can support themselves. In the future, I am hoping to introduce new projects and intend to be a positive model of change
- What are the expectations of young people in your country? According to you, why is youth participation important nowadays?
We are young. We need to take care of ourselves and decide our
future and the one of our children. We must stop being
spectators, and stop blaming our parents for our misfortune
because each generation must give the best of itself.
As great men before us fought to give us our national independence, what have we done to protect our mothers, our sisters and our sons? Young people must participate in all sort of things because it is both the future and the present. Our parents also should not forget that if they die without transmitting values to us, they would leave as thieves.
-What is your motto or favorite expression? Do you have any pieces of advices or message that you would like to give to young people?
My motto, and at the same time my advice to young people, is that
if we do not change the world, the world will not change us
either. We have love in our hearts and sincerity as a virtue. We
can make this world a dream, using our hearts as models.
When power of love will surpass love of power ,the world will know peace.