Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:00

RWANDA: Orphanages to Be Phased Out By 2014

 

The Government will gradually phase out all orphanages dotted around the country by 2014, Alexia Mukashema, Technical Assistant in charge of orphans and other vulnerable children in the National Children's Commission, has announced.



The commission will also be charged with following up the children to ensure they are treated well in their new families

Currently, there are 34 orphanages countrywide and, so far, reintegration of orphans in a family setup is almost complete in one of them - Mpore Pefa.

There are 3,153 orphans left that need to be re-integrated into families. Mukashema said that most children do not need foster families as they have families and relatives and will reunite with them. Children without relatives would be taken up by foster families.

She further emphasised that the aim is to ensure that all Rwandan children grow up in normal family structures.

The commission will also be charged with following up the children to ensure they are treated well in their new families.

Innocent Impfura, who works with Hope and Homes, an NGO with the objective of influencing government policy to re-integrate orphans into families, said 47 children had so far been re-integrated.

"We signed an MoU with the government and we have so far helped reintegrate 47 orphans from Mpore Pefa, which has a total of 51 orphans. We have already found families for the remaining three; so the first orphanage will be up for closure very soon," Impfura disclosed.

He noted that they were able to find families for the orphans within 18 months, adding that his organisation was in the process of identifying potential families to take up children abandoned or neglected by families.

He cited one of the big challenges in the process as lack of data about the said children thus making it tricky to unite with their families.

Mukashema, however, noted that the country still has families with big hearts with many of them willing to assume the responsibility of taking up orphans and raising them as their own.

Source: The New Times (Kigali, Rwanda)

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