New project to alleviate plight of orphans

The Government has committed to expanding a community-based programme that helps orphans and other vulnerable children overcome life challenges.

The Government has committed to expanding a community-based programme that helps orphans and other vulnerable children overcome life challenges.

The move was announced, Wednesday, as 2,275 orphans and other vulnerable children concluded a three-year programme dubbed, “The Nkundabana Initiative Scale-Up” (Nisu), a project funded by Care International.

The children who benefited from the programme had 263 volunteer mentors called Nkundabana, who supported them to overcome psychosocial problems.

“We now have a model with structure, but we need to scale it up countrywide for all children,” Damien Ngabonziza, the president of the National Commission for Children (NCC), who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (Migeprof) at the function, said.

Ngabonziza said Care International would keep its presence in the project as the initiator of Nkundabana.

Since the inception of Nisu in 2003, 13 districts have benefited from the project, including Nyanza, Nyamagabe, Naybihu, Rubavu, Gasabo, Kicukiro, and Bugesera. Others are Rwamagana, Rulindo, Ruhango, Kamonyi, Muhanga and Musanze districts.

The project was rolled out at cost of Euro 480,000 (about Rwf390 million) sponsored by the European Union.

Care International Rwanda has been implementing the project for three years in partnership with Arct-Ruhuka, Haguruka and in association with Migeprof.

In the previous two stages from 2003 to 2010, children were helped to start income generating activities ranging from tailoring, construction, carpentry and bicycle and motor bike maintenance.

“I’ve learnt sewing and I can now feed my siblings,” said 20-year-old Clarisse Murekatete from Kamonyi district, who benefited from the second edition of Nkundabana programme.

Matt Bannerman, the Care International country director, said they committed to enhancing efforts towards helping orphans and other vulnerable children and women.

“We’re discussing with NCC and the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion to extend Nkundabana project,” Bannerman said.

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