Enfant Chez Soi is an association that takes care of children living in prisons with their mothers by trying to give them a better life and an education.
Tuyisenge Emmanuel the Legal representative of Enfant Chez Soi says “According to the law every child has the right to an education, even those whose parents have been imprisoned. We have found that children born or living with their mothers in prison, do not have access to education. After seeing this problem, we started helping these children get educated by building them a kindergarten school”.
“We wanted them to have some form of education by 3 years old, the age at which they go live with their foster families as per the law - which helps them to easily adopt back into society”, adds Tuyisenge.
“Ever since its start ‘Enfant Chez Soi’ association also gave cows to all prisons in Rwanda. They also supply these children with materials such as basins, blankets, bed covers and soaps. Among other things, the association teaches mothers how to grow mushrooms and rear poultry so that children can have a balanced diet”, says Ingabire Clarisse who also manages Enfant Chez Soi.
Uwihoreye Esperance a beneficiary of Enfant Chez Soi also narrates that “I went to prison in 2012 because of a theft case where I was working. While investigations went on I was taken to prison with my one year old son. I was so worried before I got there - I found that there were many other children living in prison and this gave me hope that my child would survive too.
Airtel Touching lives a show that airs on TVR and TV1 celebrates and assists the individuals and projects that are making a difference to the lives of people around them. In its episode 3 touching lives lifted hopes for children by offering assistance to Enfant Chez Soi Association inform of cows that will help to distribute more milk in all the prisons the association works with. Additionally Airtel touching lives also offered to boost the mushrooms project undertaken by Enfant Chez Soi association to increase productivity.
Airtel touching lives also visited the family of Marceline & Theophile who live with their handicapped child a resident of Muhima, Nyarugenge district.
“Jacques was born with a problem, he had jaundice in his mouth and his eyes.
I did not know about this until our community health workers came to see me as I had given birth from home and they took me to hospital. I took Jacques to Kibagabaga hospital where we spent 2 months. At 6 months old, he was weak and could not straighten up, neither could he move nor switch positions like any other child. His neck was bent. I was later told to take him to Gatagara hospital - although we spent one week there because I did not have enough money”, narrated Jacques’ mother Marceline Uwajeneza.
“When I look at Jaques and see that he’s reached an age where he should be talking or walking like any other children, I feel like crying. Our family seeks support, we would like to see our child get treatment be healed and we need a place to leave”, sadly tells his father Habakubaho Theophile.
“I don’t see a future for us if we don’t get support living with a child in this situation. If we get support, my heart would be calm because life would change for the better. This would make me happy”, Marceline adds.
Nonetheless, after visiting and assessing what Theophile and Marceline’s family need, Airtel touching lives decided to support the family by providing medical assessment and support of their child. Among other things Airtel touching lives provided the family with a small trading business which will help them to pay rent, take the child to hospital and live a good life like others.
The Airtel Touching Lives Initiative airs two stories per episode on TVR at 7:30pm and Tuesdays on TV1 at 6:30pm for 11 weeks.