Parents who accepted children from Fashumwana into their homes, yestaday held discussions with workers from Hope and homes for Children (HHC) and the National Commission for Children (NCC). They shared experiences as part of peer to peer learning. They called upon other families to welcome all children in other orphanages around the country in order to ensure their better future.
Before closure, Fashumwana Orphanage was located in the densely populated Kimisagara area in Nyarugenge district in the City of Kigali. According to Mr Antoine Bizimana the then Institutional Manager, it started with 76 children. All were picked from here and there in the streets of Kigali. In the beginning, 6 workers were looking after those children. Even the Manager of Fashumwana acknowledged that children were lacking. “Nothing can replace the love of parents in the family, so many children were living with a deep sense of abandonment, providing them with enough food was also a constant challenge to me” said Mr Antoine
According to Ms Christelle Bwiza, a psychologist in Hope and Homes for Children (HHC), it was urgent to find families for all children given the fact that their situation was going from bad to worse. “When we started the process of closing Fashumwana, there were 44 children. Some of them were lucky to find their biological parents, others were united with their extended families. Some young adults opted for independent living and were facilitated while the remaining (few) went into foster care” she concluded.
Ms Theophila Umulisa, one of the parents who welcomed 2 children from Fashumwana said: “We grew up in a family and thanks to the discipline from our mum and dad we are well positioned in a society, so we will give them a chance too”
Hope and Homes for Children is a British charity organisation that advocates for those who are orphaned, abandoned or vulnerable by enabling them to grow up within the love of a family and the security of a home, so that they can fulfil their potential. They do this by keeping families together and avoiding separation. They also aim to reunite children with families by closing institutions, where this is not possible they set up alternative family care arrangements such as adoption, fostering and small family homes commonly known as independent living (for young adults)
The Express News