Why does the first name of my supported child change from time to time?

European names like Mary, Jean or Louise where brought to the Congo by the Spanish and later by the Belgians. These are not the traditional names and hence they also not that important to the people in Tshumbe. The families often make up first names spontaneously and these can change multiple times in the course of a life, because they do not use them very often and therefore also forget them easily. Due to that, your supported child that used to be called Henriette can all of a sudden be called Helene – it is however still the same child. One of the traditionally two names is recognised as the actual first name and this is also the name by which they are known. E.g.: Omoyi Okoko Clarisse (Clarisse = European first name that can change; Okoko = second name of the father; Omoyi = traditional first name) In this case the child is usually called "Omoyi".

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