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KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - APRIL 30: Esther Yandakwa, age 9, dries her body after taking a bath in a river on April 30, 2006 in Matonge district in central Kinshasa, Congo, DRC. Esther is homeless and works as a prostitute with four fourteen-year-old friends. They live outside, next to a polluted river. She's been three years on the street and has run away from here family. She has from time to time been living in a homeless shelter for children, but doesn't like the rules there. She usually smokes cigarettes, marijuana, drinks whiskey and sometimes takes Valium. She charges the clients as little as US$ 1. About 15,000 children are estimated to live on the streets of Kinshasa. Congo, DRC is in ruins after forty years of mismanagement by the corrupt dictator and former president Mobuto Sese Seko. He fled the country in 1997 and a civil war started. The country is planning to hold general elections by July 2006, the first democratic elections in forty years.(Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson)
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