In October 2016, Ms Jacqueline Mukarubuga decided to adopt a child in Gahanga orphanage in Kicukiro District, Kigali city. Jacqueline Mukarubuga lives with his husband, their son and another fostered 14-year old son in Gahanga Sector of Kicukiro. She makes Rwf25, 000 (about $30) monthly while her husband repairs mobile phones. They live a moderate life but their limited financial means did not scare them of adopting a child.
Jacqueline Mukarubuga said she proposed her husband to adopt a child because she had noticed that children in orphanages were lacking family care. After several visits and assessment by Social workers from Hope and Homes for Children, they were allowed to adopt a 14 years old boy from the now closed Cite de la misercode Orphanage in Gahanda Districts, City of Kigali.
Her family has been selected, among other families countrywide, as ‘model parents’ locally known as ‘MalayikaMurinzi’ under the National Strategy for Child Care Reform which seeks to transform Rwanda’s current child care and protection system into a family-based care and family-strengthening system.Approved by the cabinet in March 2012, the strategy targeted to phase down all orphanages in the country and place all children into families by 2015 but statistics show that 2,714 children had been fostered while 1,244 were still in orphanages in June 2017.
Jacqueline Mukarubuga encourages families to adopt children, saying it doesn’t matter which means the family has but it just takes a loving and willing heart to have mercy for the hopeless children in orphanages.
“I learnt that his mother abandoned him at CHUK (referral hospital in Kigali) when he was three months old. He since then lived in four orphanages and has never known any of his parents,” she says.
Asked about what was her motivation she said: “I felt I could play role in shaping his future as I can do for my own son. I felt ready to share with him the little I earn and my husband has a similar mindset. Since we adopted him, we have not declined financially; instead God has blessed us with means to rent house, for meals and we have recently bought a plot of land to build our residential house.”
Our adoptive son is happy in the family and has got a blissful face: “Sometimes we take him to visit his friends in orphanages but he never wishes to go back into orphanage life”. Their adoptive son is now doing level five of primary school.
Article 19 of the Constitution of Rwanda amended in 2015 stipulates that a child has the right to specific mechanisms of protection by his or her family, other Rwandans and the State.
The Express News