Video in French/Dutch
TEXT: KURT WERTELAERS PICTURE: THE BENOIT FREINE
8/05/17 – 07:00
“We found him!” When we show the pictures of the little Jacques we made three days earlier, the people of his native village start to dance and sing. © Benoit Freine.
VIDEO “I was already in the car, but I forgot my sandals. I have to go get them quickly in the orphanage. When I walked out, I saw the car driving away. It’s my fault, I should never have forgotten my sandals . I miss my friends a lot.” But it was not little Jacques fault(7). He just did not fit the profile of adoption. While his real parents were 850 kilometers from Kinshasa and did not know where their child, Jacques, was, he remained in the orphanage.
As photographer Benoit and I in Gemena, in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo, say goodbye to the parents of Samira, Zakiatu and Jaelle, in the distance is dad Malachi. His son, Jacques, was at the time put on the same list and on the same plane from Gemena to Kinshasa “for a short holiday.” But the girls were offered for adoption in our country.
Jacques stayed behind. He was, as human rights organizations in Congo had stated to us some days earlier, an “excuse child” because it would look strange if only girls were transported. “Jacques was the fool of the job. Taken on a flight to Kinshasa, knowing full well that at that time no adoptive parents were available to him. Nobody wanted to Jacques.”
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