As part of their efforts to ensure all children are raised in families, Hope and Homes for Children Rwanda did not forget children with disabilities.
Speaking to The Express News , Mr Moise Munyamariza, a district project officer from Hope and Homes for Children in charge of Rubavu, Karongi and Rusizi districts said children with disabilities need families for their mental and physical development.
One of the family in Rubavu received Kaneza, a child with disabilities from the now closed Cite de la Misericorde Gahanga orphanage. Kaneza is a beautiful child born in 2010 from an unknown mother who abandoned her. She was picked from the street by local leaders in Kicukiro District who placed her in the nearest orphanage known as “Cite de la Misericorde Gahanga” located in Kicukiro district in Kigali. At the age of 6 years she was unable to walk, could not talk nor feed herself. “She could not even move herself from the bed” said a member of her host family.
In December 2016 this child was placed at a specialist foster mother that was strongly motivated to raise a child with disabilities.
The host family is located in Rubavu District, Rubavu Sector, Byahi Cell in Ngugo Village. Even her foster mother declared: “It’s been 2 years since we decided to bring her into our home. When I see her feeding herself, trying to play with other children, I remember the medical experts and psychologists who confirmed that she had mental and physical delay, I can only thank God!”
The closure of Gahanga orphanages was in line with the national childcare reform strategy aimed at transforming Rwanda’s current childcare and protection regime into a family-based system, where resources are targeted to support families and children.
This child with disabilities without family trace was among the population of 59 children that were confined in the above mentioned orphanage. All of them were supported to get the chance of growing in the family.
Visibly filled with joy, Mr Munyamariza observed: “Although we have experienced positive changes of other children with rapid development after being reintegrated in the family, no one would predict that this child could, at this time, be able to walk, talk and even move”
Thanks to a good care of her host family, this child has grown big and is able to differentiate visitors from household members and has no fear. She was registered at the sector by her parents and is regularly visited by professionals from the National Commission for children (NCC) based in Kicukiro where she was living before placement in the family. Currently the family enjoys the support of Hope and Homes for Children in form of medical support as well as special diet.
Article 13 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child stipulates that: “Every child with mental or physical disabilities shall have the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical and moral needs and in conditions, which ensure his dignity, promote self-reliance and active participation in the community.”
The Express News