Children at Gisimba orphanage in Nyamirambo, yesterday, received pyjamas courtesy of Ava’s Jammies, an initiative by a five-year-old American girl, who took it upon herself to collect and distribute the outfits to children who need them.
Ava Holtzman is a daughter to Marc Holtzman, a board member at Bank of Kigali and the chairperson of China based Meridian Capital, who has been supporting the orphanage and other welfare projects in the country.
Speaking to The New Times, Holtzman said the pyjamas project was a brainchild of his five-year-old daughter aimed at giving other children the same, simple luxury that she enjoys in them.
“Ava, who has always loved pyjamas, thought it wise to design and distribute pyjamas to children who needed them,” Holtzman said.
“Though pyjamas are not the most pressing need at these orphanages, it is important that children who have not had a chance to own anything in their lives have something they can call their own,” he added.
Holtzman, who holds dual citizenship privileges with one of them Rwandan, first learnt about the orphanage from Finance minister Claver Gatete, during the latter’s tenure as Rwanda’s envoy to the UK.
Damas Gisimba, a son of the orphanage founder who currently runs it, said they had enjoyed a lot of support from Holtzman and his family over the years ranging, from financial to moral support.
“The pyjamas mean a lot to the children. It is a lesson for them to do good wherever they go and inspire others,” Gisimba said.
Apollinaire Muhawenimana, a beneficiary, said it was comforting to know that there are kind people who think about them.
The project will see orphanages and homes across the country receive pyjamas as well as other welfare support from the family.