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KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO MAY 4: Esther Yandakwa (c), age 9, has fallen asleep after smoking marijuana in a drug house on May 4, 2006 in Matonge district in central Kinshasa, Congo, DRC. Esther is homeless and works as a prostitute together with four friends. The girls live outside next to a polluted river. Esther has been on the streets for about three years, and has been rejected by her family. From time to time, she lives in a homeless shelter for but doesn't like the rules there. She usually smokes cigarettes, marijuana and drinks whiskey. 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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