Churches rally support for orphans

KIGALI — Several churches around Kigali City have complained about the poor living conditions of orphans in the country.

KIGALI — Several churches around Kigali City have complained about the poor living conditions of orphans in the country.

Many church leaders made the complaint this week during a consultative meeting at Hotel Novotel Umubano.

The meeting was organised by World Orphans, a Christian international organisation that assists orphans worldwide.
Church leaders largely attributed the poor living conditions of orphans to lack of resources and unpredictable funding from donors to run family based homes for orphans.

“There is sometimes no food for the over 500 orphans we take care of; we depend on food from people in the villages to feed the orphans. It shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the church to look after orphans because everybody is a stakeholder in this endeavour,” Reverend Gregory Twagirumukiza of Free Evangelical Charismatic church in Nyamirambo, Nyarugenge District, said.

Bishop Enoch Dusingizimana from the Community of Christian Churches in Africa (CECA) in Kacyiru, Gasabo District, said that many of the 400 orphans his church takes care of lack tuition fees to keep them in school.

He added that although his church holds monthly fundraising sessions to cater for the living conditions, they are usually overwhelmed by the needs for orphans in secondary schools.

“They are sometimes expelled and we look on because we can’t be sure when funding will be done to keep them in school,” he says.

Another organisation, Youth With a Mission, that caters for over 1,000 orphans in Kicukiro District also pointed at food, shelter and education as the major needs that affect orphans.

The organisation’s director Method Kamanzi said that they usually receive children who were left parentless due to Genocide, HIV/Aids and families breaking up thereby living children to survive on streets.

“There is a problem of consistent supply of assistance for the children,” he said.

Allan Hunt, the director of church partnerships in World Orphans promised that the organisation would soon be extending funding to Rwandan churches catering for orphans.

He added the organisation would make long-term sponsorship of orphans in shelter, education and clothing.      

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