As nation reconciles with itself, a successful transition helps Rwanda recover from past wounds
Geography and climate - People - Environment - Historical Backgrounds - Gacaca System - Tribute to Courage - Help a Child! - Government - Religion - Art and Literature - Communicating With Rwandans - Family Life - Intore Dance of Peace - Food in Rwanda - Sports and Recreation - Travel Tips - Where to Go - Did you know?

Help a Child!


FORUM started their activities on 23- December- 2000

President: Epimaque Kanamugire (TUBAKUNDE)
Vice president: John Nyirimanzi (ABADACOGORA)
Secretary: Robert Makuta (GATENGA)
Treasurer: Daniel Huri (E.P.R.)

GATENGA CENTER (to be updated)
MAISON DE LA JEUNESSE (to be updated)
RAFIKI (to be updated)



Munezero Clementine
B.P. 56 Kigali - Rwanda
Fax: 576929
Tel: 08526061 or 573789
Nom du compte / Account name: EPR Enfants de la rue
Numéro de compte / Account Number: 10112-06-91
Nom de la Banque / Bank name: B.C.D.I Kigali


The Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (E.P.R) was founded by the Germans in 1907, and became an independent national organisation in 1956.


Our aim is to work together to alleviate the existing serious problem of children living and working on the street.

E.P.R, through it's programme "Help the vulnerable street children", is determined to create a realistic and effective solution to the problem of street children. We seek to stem the rapid rise in the number of children on the street by helping them to find work and a place in society. We wish to introduce changes that will continue for generation to come.

In response to the needs of the street children, E.P.R opened a centre for them in KICUKIRO, known as "Centre Presbyterien d'Amour Des Jeunes" (C.P.J) ,which literally means "the Presbytérian Centre of love for the young" The centre has been in operation since 1998.


CPAJ's overriding objective is to support the social and economic re-integration of street children. We do this at the centre at Kicukiro by:
-Sending many street children to primary and secondary school.
-Providing skills and vocational training for older children and young people who have been marginalized. This group, who live and work around a dump in Nyanza are too old to go back to school.

Through these two groups the centre interacts with young people from the districts of Kicukiro, and Kigali urban.

Over the years, Rwandan children have faced many problems caused by poverty, the genocide of 1994, irresponsible parents, delinquency etc.. The plague of AIDS has further exacerbated the problem leaving many children orphaned. These children therefore face daily problems of homelessness', poverty, unemployment and life without their families. In order to re- integrate them back into society the centre provides training in various trades and crafts, referred to as artisan training.

Many of the street children at C.P.A.J are enrolled into primary and secondary schools. All the children receive HIV/AIDS education, and wherever possible we assist with family reunification. We also have 45 boys residing at the centre.

Table of Areas of Reintegration


Our objectives during this year were to establish the following activities:

- Primary and secondary education for street children
- Artisan training for young adults who are able to continue their studies.
- Agriculture and animal breeding programmes
- Sensitisation to the struggle and prevention against AIDS
- Art therapy and psychosocial support
- Interaction with increasing numbers of street children
- Reintegration of street children back into families


Primary education

This year CPAJ were able to enrol 88 children into primary school. The centre supplies school frees, uniforms, materials and medical care for these children. In general, the children well in school - this year around twenty of our pupils were among the highest students in their classes. Now they are 8 who passed exam official to go to high school. This summer holiday all primary school children visited different families. They learnt many things how living in family. This is a good experience because very soon some from them will reintegrate the care families.

Secondary education

This year CPAJ has supported 15 young people through secondary school. The centre supplies school fees, uniforms, materials and the necessary equipment. The young people have worked hard, and two boys have successfully completed their official examination "du tronc commun". In the holidays the young people participate in the life of the centre by working with the primary school children, greeting visitors and dealing with correspondence.

Artisan Training

For the last two years the centre has offered training in different trades to the young people who are unable to attend school. The training lasts for six months during which they learn their chosen trade or craft. The group, which began in March 2001, completed their training on 15th September 2001. Today the centre has 100 youths who follow a artisan formation in different groups include metal work, making furniture from cartons, baking, hairdressing salon for boys, crochet and embroidery, making leather goods, traditional painting and their the creation of different objects from candles. We like to encourage the use of recycled materials, which can be found at the dump in Nyanza. This training take six months after the youths reintegrate into families.

The young adult's background and lack of education inevitably meant that we faced problems with discipline and their inability to concentrate and follow lesson. We therefore established a literacy programme to combat this problem.

Other activities include agriculture, rabbit breeding, sports and leisure activities. As a Christian centre we like to encourage the spiritual development of the young people through reading the bible and worship.

The young people are given small amounts of pocket money which they can use as they wish.

We like to encourage them to use the skills they have acquired to become self sufficient. We also monitor and follow their progress once they leave the centre and offer advice and/ or assistance whenever necessary.

Animal Breeding and Agriculture

Animal breeding and agriculture are important aspects of the life and work of the centre. In our field we grow sweet potatoes, maize and vegetables, which we use for food and to generate income. We also give the families who look after children in their homes a goat as a means of support

AIDS Seminars

During the school holidays the centre holds seminars to discuss the struggle and prevention of HIV/AIDS. These have proved quite successful and benefit both the centre and the neighbourhood. The seminars help the children / youths to gain a better understanding of the problem of HIV/AIDS. We also encourage the children / youhts to be HIV tested, which most are willing to do. We aim to make the children and youths sensitive to the suffering the disease cause. The centre has set up an anti- AIDS club with the objective of sensitisation. It is important that we continue with this programme, focusing on the struggle against HIV/AIDS, as it helps not only the young people but also all of Rwanda face this issue.

Art Therapy and Psycho- social support

The majority of children and young people living on the street face ongoing family and social problems, which lead to psychological and social difficulties. We offer support and assistance to those who need it. A trained art therapist and counsellor is available so that the children can work through their problems and receive the help they need.

Interaction with Streets Children

The doors of the centre are open everyday. One member of staff is staff is allocated to visit and interact with children on the streets, some of whom eventually join our centre. It is not always possible for certain young people to join alternative centres.

When the children and young people first arrive at the centre they receive orientation training to help them understand how the centre functions. A good relationship soon develops between the new and the older members, with the latter helping the former to adapt to the life of the centre.

Reintegrating the youths / children into families

The children who have completed their training courses continue to have a relationship with the centre. They either stay at the centre or are reintegrate into families known to the centre, so that they no longer have to live on the streets. There can often be difficulties reintegrating children who come from districts or provinces far from Kicukiro. Also the centre does not have sufficient means to support other young people whose organisations cannot hold them. The centre assumes an obligation to find a placement for the young people until they become self - sufficient.

After the centre's first year of training the boys and girls attempted to earn money by using the skills the had learnt. This was done through breeding goats, cows and hens, rebuilding family homes, metal work, embroidery and baking. Five associations were formed, two of which still function today.
Each year the centre invites the young adults from the first year of the CPAJ programme to participate in church services in order to relay their experiences, answer questions and offer guidance to new members.



To ensure the social and economic reintegration of street children.

Table of objetives


"Le Centre Presbytérien d'Amour des Jeunes" announced that they would undertake the task of assisting street children and young with social and economic reintegration

Unifortunaly the centre is not able to give assistance to all the street children who ask for help as it does not have sufficient means to meet the needs of the increasing number of children. However, the centre always strives to attend to their basic needs.

The centre would like to thank the organisations and individuals both near and far, who have helped us to establish the activities we have been able to offer in the year 2001.


Rwanda, being one of the poorest countries of the world due to interrelated and complex socio-economic factors including the 1994 war and genocide and natural calamities, a large portion of the population, especially children, are victimized by social evil like poverty, diseases, lack of education and family instability. All of these impediments lead to many unaccompanied and orphaned children in the country.

A considerable proportion of these children work on street with some totally living on street with out any adult care and protection. In doing menial jobs for supporting themselves or their siblings, those children face danger of getting into accidents and violence. They get exploited and abused and many are forced to drop out of school or never get the chance to be enrolled at all.

Lack of access to basic primary education is one of the main barriers that a great number of school-aged children are encountered in the country. The majority of the orphan urban children are not attending schools and their number is increasing from day to day due various reasons like high cost of school material, school fees in public and private schools, etc…

Realizing the complex nature of the problems faced by street children, particularly in Kigali, Rwanda capital city, Save the Children Denmark(Red Barnet) in collaboration with Tabarabana ASBL has initiated Tubakunde Center which is an integrated community based child focused program.

The major component of Tubakunde programs are: Advocacy and Public awareness raising on Child Rights Protection , Basic Education (literacy, numeric, functional life skills and skills training) for out of school street children of 7-18 years and to help those children to enhance their responsibilities and take part in wide community development.

Tubakunde Center is a child oriented organisation which works for the well being and the respect of the rights of urban disadvantaged children in general and street children and youth in particular.
It has been carrying out an advocacy of Child Rights, providing 158 street children with marketable and practical skills and Education comes as one to address the basic education rights of urban disadvantaged children and youth.

Tubakunde2 Center is a community based training Center, which is aiming at assisting orphans street children and youth in Kigali City. It was initiated in September 1998 by save the Childred Denmark (Red Barnet) in collaboration with Tabarabana, a local NGO
The project has three main objectives
- To promote knowledge and understanding in the community of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child
- Basic Education for street children of 7-18 years in literacy, numeric and life skills for normal school system reinsertion and skills training for their integration into wide society
- Promoting the psycho-social well-being among the beneficiaries, enhancing their responsibilities and take part in community development.
The assisted children and youth are currently living in and on streets, in order to support themselves and their younger siblings to be self reliant into wide society.


B.P. 1457 KIGALI
Tél.: (250) 512155
Fax : (250) 82716/87261
Email :
No Compte / Account Number: 040-0042083-18 Banque de Kigali, Rwanda.

2 Tubakunde is a Rwandan word and means "Love them".


FIDESCO RWANDA is an association according to the Rwanda Law, issued by FIDESCO INTERNATIONAL, a branch of the catholic "Emmanuel Community" settled in France. The aims are to support small development projects in several countries everywhere in the world.
The "Rugamba project" started in 1992 with a few natives, founders of FIDESCO RWANDA who wanted to "do something" for those kids starving in the streets of Kigali…with their own means : their heart and their time…
As soon as in august 1994 the project was able to start again thanks to several benefactors :
- private gifts
- the Belgian Red-Cross
- the Jesuit Community of Remera
- the Office of Rheinland-Pfalz, Rwanda

Up to now, beside an important alimentary supply from the Catholic Relief Service (guaranteed up to 2005), and a few one-off allowances, the survival of Rugamba depends entirely from private gifts and often voluntary human help.

We are proud of our results, especially in the numerous concrete outcomes on the so-called reinsertion field, but we want to do better. This will clearly never be possible if we do not get any new outside financing.

The following page presents a new agricultural training project for 20 kids … and the financial support needed to achieve it.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT PROJECT (see annexed document 1. for details)

BP. 1457 - Kigali ph: 87261

To offer to a limited number of boys of the streets from Kigali (presently 50 residents and 40 to be reinserted) a chance to be reinserted within the rwandese society.


The board of FIDESCO RWANDA, having approved the annual budget and the strategic positioning, delegates the running of the project and the financial control to a restraint executive staff , which includes the executive manager of the Rugamba project.

Referees :
- François-Xavier Ngarambe, Predident of the executive committee
- Jean-Marie Twambazemungu, President of FIDESCO & delegate to the executive committee
- Albert Kayigumire, General manager of the project
- Emmanuel van der Bruggen, advisor (address in Belgium : Sparrenlaan 63, 3090 Overijse. Phone :


1) Contact in open field with a certain number of those kids where they live
2) Transitional welcome in a shelter of up to 50 of them, at their request, to prepare their reinsertion
3) Reintegrate them within a reasonable time
either, and preferably, within their family or in another place where they will get any chance to integrate
4) Insure them a follow-up up to a maximum of three years.



1. Contact in open field

Places : sector of Remera, but also downtown and in other suburbs of Kigali.

Approach :
- regular attendance
- show them some interest and affection, take part of their games…
- proposal of activities : films, talks, lectures, sports…
- invite them to have a meal in the shelter and wash their clothes…
- have individual listening with those who accept
- in some cases guidance to immediate reintegration from the street (see point 3.)
- more often directing to a transit stay within the shelter (…)

Human resources : one salaried person + one-off volunteers…

2. The welcome shelter

Place : Site and scantly equipped buildings are given at disposal (present capacity = 50 beds).
Outset investments and working expenses (water, electricity, repairs…) are being token into charge by the "Emmanuel Community" and, therefore, do not appear in the running reports at this stage.
Quite important investments to be done to improve kitchen, accommodation capacities, sanitary facilities…
Acceptance conditions : as nobody is able to answer to any need, we put the following limits for a boy to be accepted at Rugamba.
- The demand has to be issued by the boy himself, and supported by the responsible person of the contacts in the open field.
- The boy will clearly adhere the "charter" of Rugamba, i.e. :
His desire to be reinserted at least within the two years
His trust in the capacity of the welcome team to answer to his needs
His acceptance of the disciplinary rules of the centre
His desire to prove sociability and tolerance to the team as to his fellow mates.
- The age : between 8 and 18 years old
- The absence of basic hazards that would run reinsertion to a failure (matters such as the absence of any remaining family relationship or the existence of very serious mental or physical deficiencies are particularly delicate).

Objectives : to supply a decent but basic welfare to up to 50 boys, every day and hour of the week. As the aim remains to prepare their reintegration, this welcome has to be transitional.

(1) Fulfil the primary needs (food & beverage, housing, clothing, personal hygiene, medical care, security)

(2) Insure professional and intellectual education according to the capacity of each boy (alphabetisation, scholarship, basic professional learning…) … and the material means of the project.

(3) Guarantee human rights, especially freedom, peace and justice.

(4) Try to give some love to everybody to show he is "somebody", particularly through personal contacts.

(5) Supply some entertainment, in and outside the centre, but also make sure to leave enough personal leisure time when wanted.

(6) Prepare reintegration (see here below).

Human resources : present
1 executive manager
1 administrative employee
1 social assistant
2 educators
1 cook

3. Reintegration and follow-up
Preparation :
Most of the time will the job be initiated by the staff in charge of the contacts in open field. As soon as the boy visits the centre, will the reunification staff take over.
His action will first be carried through private talks as to initiate confidence, collect information, sound out motivations…
In the same time will he start a long tracing job and prepare his family to look for his return…

Effective reinsertion :
Will thus be carried out either directly from out the open field, or after a transit stay (maximum 2 years) in the centre.
It will be achieved when a boy has really quitted the streets to start "a new life" within his original environment or another one that will give him a better chance to luck.
Each project will most of the time be supported by some one-off incentive (clothes, part of school expenses, leasing money for a field or a house, purchase of some tools or building material or even cattle, …)

Follow-up :
During three years will each boy have regular contact with the Rugamba team and, if needed, get further help in his own reinsertion project.
Sometime we do re-accept one of them in the centre for a very short time… Sometime will one of them go back to the street. Temporarily… or definitely…

Human resources : one salaried person


Many humanitarian organisations, either local or international, assured or not to get financial and human support, try to cope with the problem of the kids from the streets and do indeed a very good job.

We do not only look to get some support, we also initiated very soon a certain number of contacts with a large part of them. Those meetings urged us to act as a pressure group against the civil authorities as to show how fundamental our action was for the future of Rwanda.

We are now looking for further synergy in the training of our staffs, professional learning and reunification. 

Back Read on Next
© World INvestment NEws, Multimedia Information Company, 2003. - Optimised for 800 x 600 - Developed by AGENCIAE.TV.