Feature: Still homeless

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi left many Rwandans orphaned and homeless. 15 years down the road, orphans hosted in the premises of Groupe Scholaire de mot Kigali, also known as APACE, have nowhere to reside. When these orphans get their holidays, they are hosted by APACE in Kabusunzu. 
Unity Family orphans listen attentively during the occasion.
Unity Family orphans listen attentively during the occasion.

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi left many Rwandans orphaned and homeless. 15 years down the road, orphans hosted in the premises of Groupe Scholaire de mot Kigali, also known as APACE, have nowhere to reside. When these orphans get their holidays, they are hosted by APACE in Kabusunzu. 

According to the Director of APACE, Emile Senkwari, the school used to host about 55 students from 2001.

“We are now hosting 10 students; other students have joined higher levels of learning and some have since got married.”

Eric Mugabo the leader of the orphans told the Sunday Times that they found it imperative to form an association so that they could support one another.

“We are called the Unity Family.”

Narrating the situation they are living in, Mugabo said that they are not comfortable with their kind of life.

“While other children go to their homes for holidays, we are expected to come and spend our holidays at APACE.”

“It becomes worse when one falls sick and has to return to APACE only to find the bed one sleeps on during the holidays occupied,” he said.

Mugabo sent his gratitude to the management of the Fund of Genocide Survivors (FARG) for helping them mostly with school fees and feeding. He, however, called upon FARG to also provide the orphans with a place to stay citing it as one of their major challenges.

On a visit to Unity Family Orphans two weeks ago, Joseph Uwimana the local leader of Kintwari village, called upon the orphans to create and associate with new friends.

He said the new friends would be of a great help in the near future especially when they finish their S.6 as there’s need to start a new life.

Mugabo thanked the Director of APACE and the good Samaritans of Kintwari village in Kimironko for their support. During the same visit, Pastor Francis of Miracle Center, Kimironko branch told the orphans to have hope in the Future.

“You need to work for the betterment of your bright future. Maintain good morals. They will give you a gate pass wherever you will go,” said Francis. On the occasion, Kintwari village donated Rwf100, 000 to the orphans to cater for their basic needs.

“It is very rare for people to visit us. It is only the people of Kintwari that always come to visit us. We are so happy for the good deed Kintwari people have shown us. May God bless you,” one of the orphans, Immaculate Mukakalisa, said. 

After sitting for their S.6 most of these orphans will not be allowed to stay in APACE, these young people will be sent out to start a new life. Some do not even know where their parents used to stay.

Those who remember where their parents used to stay revealed that they are not ready to go back and claim for their parents’ property. Only one claimed, he’d claim the parents’ property but when old enough to do so.

It’s with initiatives such as the One Dollar Campaign that such orphans might one day get a home. For the moment, 15 years down the road after the gruesome Genocide that claimed their parents and entire families, they are still homeless.

Email: gachakim@yahoo.com

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