The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, this week, paid tribute to Rwanda’s policy of phasing out orphanages by transferring vulnerable children to foster families, rather than keeping them in childcare centres.
The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion is currently running a programme, dubbed “Mpore Mpore”, under which all children in orphanages are documented and assisted to reunite with their families, or taken to foster homes.
The programme seeks to offer the children an opportunity to lead a normal life.
As a result, more than 3,000 children have left childcare institutions. In the Rwandan culture, children belong to society and are, therefore, entitled to protection and care from everyone around them. As such, society has a moral obligation to treat all children in a caring and respectable manner.
By encouraging volunteers to take in orphans and give them decent upbringing, the government is actually trying to restore our culture. From experience, certain aspects of the culture have played a central role in the country’s healing and reconciliation process, and, no doubt, the foster family policy will go a long way in instilling morals in our youth.
It is imperative that Rwandans respond to the call and actively participate in this noble and honourable cause.
Besides supporting this policy, the public should also fight any kind of violence against children since this is a form of abuse that amounts to offending the nation.