SOS Children in Rwanda
Rwanda in Central Africa is one of Africa's smallest countries and also the most densely populated. It has few natural resources and its lack of access to world markets because of its landlocked position contributes to its economic problems, making Rwanda one of the world's poorest countries.
In 1994 ethnic unrest erupted into a violent civil war, in which more than a million people were killed in genocidal massacres. Much of the country's infrastructure was destroyed, further decimating the already fragile economic base and severely impoverishing much of the population, particularly women and children.
The charity began its work in Rwanda in 1978 when the first SOS Children's Village was built near the capital of Kigali. As well as the 15 family houses and four youth houses, SOS Children's Village Kigali has a nursery, a primary school and a medical centre, all of which are used by families in the surrounding area.
The charity built Rwanda's second SOS community in 1992 in the south of the country, about 160 km from Kigali, in a village called Gikongoro. SOS Children's Gikongoro community has twelve family houses as well as a nursery and primary school for children in the village and from the local community.
In 1994, with the outbreak of the civil war, the charity set up an emergency home for children in Ngarama as a temporary home for children abandoned and orphaned during the conflict, together with a feeding centre for refugee mothers and children. The SOS Children's Villages at Kigali and Gikongoro also assisted in the emergency relief programme, taking in refugee children and providing medical attention, as well as working with other NGOs on a programme to unite children with their families.
To provide a permanent home for the children living in the emergency village at Ngamara, a new SOS Children's community was established in 1997 at nearby Byumba, about 60 km from Kigali. The charity's Byumba community has fifteen family houses and three youth houses, a community centre, workshops and a sports ground. As there are no child-care facilities in the vicinity and the local school was destroyed during the civil war, a nursery and primary school have been built for the village children and the local community, and essential medical care, also not available locally, is provided by an SOS clinic which treats over 4000 patients a year.
See also Aids Orphan Projects in Rwanda, Africa.
SOS Children in Rwanda
Villages d'Enfants SOS du Rwanda, Kacyiru, BP 1168, Kigali, Rwanda
Tel: +250/838 59
Fax: +250/838 71
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