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KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO APRIL 29: Esther Yandakwa (r), age 9, sleeps outside on the pavement as her friends are nearby working on the street on April 29, 2006 in Matonge district in central Kinshasa, Congo, DRC. Esther is homeless and works a prostitute together with four fourteen-year-old friends. They live outside next to a polluted river. She's been on the street for about three years and has run away from here family. From time to time she has been living in a homeless shelter 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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