Name: Sylvie

Date and place of birth: Kasai Province, 02.04.2001

Father’s name: Mbombo

Mother’s name: Ngalula

Child’s name: Mariela, 8 Months old

Sylvie Mbombo was born in a family of 4 children; she is the second born, three boys and one girl.

Sylvie lives in the street for more than seven years; she was on the street by the age of ten. Everything started when her mother died when she was six years old. She says:

“My father did not want anyone of my mother’s relatives to take care of us, my brothers and me. He decided to marry a second wife, and that is when all things started. We were accused of being witches by my step-mother, and my uncles also agreed about it. Living on the street was much better than being in the family. I decided to go to the Kenya market where I found other girls; we started living there by cleaning dishes in the restaurants in the market so that I can have something to eat. During day time, things were okay, only at night, we did not have a place to sleep.

We used to go to Kimbilio (Ian’s place) every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to spend time doing the swelling and some other activities until one day they opened a transit house for girls. I was among the first group to stay in that house. Unfortunately, I was used to get money, living in freedom, and sex activities it was very difficult for me to stay in the transit house. That was the reason I ran away from the transit house.

I saw myself as very beautiful, and men always asked me to sleep with them, and they gave me money to buy clothes, food, and makeup.

Among the boys, I had a boyfriend, he got me pregnant, and he denied it by saying he was not responsible, but I know, and I am sure that he was the one. What could I do with the pregnancy, and I was no longer doing my business? I only ate when I went to the day center at Kimbilio where I could eat very well, but sleeping and food for other days were still problems.

Magali Tshimpela, one of my friends, stayed with her boyfriend and helped me with a shelter where I could sleep and eat until I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, Mariela Gracia.

For the moment, I am staying with my friends who also have babies, but all of us are struggling to get food; we need help”

Sylvie’s baby is 8 months old, was born on 08.06.2017, and her name is Mariela Gracia.


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