Eight orphanages in Kigali namely Gisimba Memorial Centre (GMC) in Nyamirambo, Home of Hope in Muhima, Fashumwana in Kimisagara, Cité de la Misericorde Gahanga, Cité de la Misericorde Niboye and Mere du Verbe in Kicukiro.
Also closed were SNAPISI and Mpore PEFA located in Kigarama Sector, Kicukiro. Those 8 orphanages were closed and all the children recovered their right to live in loving families
This was done in the framework of a government program dubbed ‘Tubarere Mu Muryango’ loosely translated as Let’s Raise Children in the Family (TMM). This program provides a safe and supportive environment for children given the fact that living in institutions/orphanages affecting them. Research showed that institutionalisation of children affects their mental and emotional development, specifically their quality of life, due to a lack of the love of a family.
The National Commission for Children (NCC) together with partners like Hope and Homes for Children continue to encourage the Rwandan community to accept those children still trapped in orphanages and give them a chance to enjoy the love of a family.
Some strategies are being used such as increase the resilience of families as a way of prevent them from breaking up, recruit and train ‘Malayika Mulinzi’ as a long-term and emergency foster carers, train and strengthen “Inshuti z’Umuryango” as one of the child protection system not forgetting the Community Development Network.
What next after closing an orphanage
Gisimba memorial centre is one of those successful closure cases. After closing, the institution converted into an “after school program”. During after school time, children have the chance to come to GMC to learn different subjects like: initiation to traditional and modern music, crafts, short story writing, playing football, basketball and other games
Mr Robinson Munonozi, one of the GMC staff lauded NCC and Hope and Homes for Children for their efforts to allow all children return into families. “No doubt the family is the best place for children” he declared. “In our after school program we are trying to help parents make good use of children’s leisure time by keeping them busy with different activities to shape their future ” added Mr. Robinson
Mr. Celestin Mutuyimana who works for Hope and Homes for Children Rwanda said: “In order to ensure the maximum protection of all children, together with districts and sector officials, we decided to initiate a Community Development network at District, Sector and Cell level”. He also added that the Community Development network can document, report and take action against any child abuse or abandonment in their community.
The implementation of TMM program started after a countrywide survey by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) in partnership with Hope and Homes for Children in 2012. That survey revealed that 3,323 children and young adults were living in the 33 orphanages. However, there were four additional orphanages identified after the survey which were taking care of 614 children and adults. This increased the number of children and young adults living in orphanages to 3,937 from 3,323 identified by the survey. Through TMM, 3,151 children have now been placed into family-based care
In Chapter 2, the National Integrated Child Rights Policy stipulates that every child has the right to a family, to be cared for by parents and extended family members.
The Express News