People who want to start child centres and homes to accommodate homeless children will first undergo scrutiny before they are licensed to operate, Kigali City authorities have said.
Once the children have matured to an advanced age, they will be adopted by voluntary families to ensure that they keep getting the love and care that is expected from a parent-child relationship.
The move comes as a long term measure to ensure that standard requirements are met before helpless children from different backgrounds are put together as this, according to the city, puts their lives at risk.
“Currently we provide moral and financial support to the people who are doing this, but there is still a lot to do with those who have shown interest in adopting similar projects,” said Kigali City Mayor, Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira.
She was speaking to The New Times yesterday shortly after her weekly City tour in which over 10 child centres and orphanages were inspected and advised on the best way forward.
“We are working in partnership with various stakeholders to ensure a good future for our helpless children,” Kirabo said during the interview.
She admitted that more collective effort was still required and commended the role played by some churches for the extraordinary work in restoring hope among children, most of them orphans of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Over 80 percent of the centres for children are affiliated to religious denominations and it is a guiding step for all potential partners,” she said.
Among the centres visited is the Village of Peace, a centre with a kindergarten and primary school located in Kagarama sector in Kicukiro District which is home to more than 85 children, including 20 infants less than two years of age.
Annonciata Bamurange, the coordinator PEFA Mpore orphanage also located in Kicukiro, explained that sometimes the demands from the children are way beyond their means.
“We have nine babies and it is relatively difficult to support them without external assistance,” Bamurange said, adding that some of the babies were picked after being dumped by their parents.