Pierre is 16. For the last four years, since his parents were killed
in the fighting, he has looked after his younger brother and sister.
The house they lived in when their parents were alive has fallen
down, so all they have left is the land it was built on.
have started to build a new house - a small square shack made of
branches and reeds. One day it will be a good, strong wattle and
daub home, but at the moment the wind blows through the sticks and
anyone can easily break into the house, because the children haven't
been able to cover the sticks with mud. Mud needs water, and they
have no water supply. They have to buy all their water in jerry
cans. Each can costs nearly a dollar, and it takes lots of cans
to mix enough mud for a house.
have a few banana and avocado trees for food, but so far they haven't
been able to grow crops because they have nowhere to store tools
and seeds. When they finish their house they hope to plant sweet
potatoes, beans or millet so they can have more to eat. For now
they feed themselves by working for other farmers, but they don't
get paid much as everyone in the area is poor. World Vision workers
help out by bringing extra food. They've also given the children
some blankets, which they hide at a neighbour's house during the
day so they don't get stolen.
of the children go to school because they can't afford uniforms
or books, and anyway, they have no time. They are kept busy getting
enough food, cooking and trying to build their house. World Vision
has training courses for children like Jean Pierre who are in charge
of their families, and Jean Pierre wants to learn welding. He hopes
one day he'll be able to earn money and that he and his brother
and sister can have a better future.