Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rwaza Orphanage 1

Two cars filled with boxes and a total of 9 people, representing 4 continents, drove off the main road heading for a hidden orphanage known by very few. The surroundings were gorgeous, close by the volcano's in the northern province. The facility looked nice, until we looked inside the rooms... piles of dirty cloths, little puddles of urine, garbage and wasps were everywhere. Children with bloated bellies, running noses and open wounds.
Even the cows were a lot skinnier then they should be. It was a sad sight. Yet the children were so excited to see us all. Hand clap games, soccer matches (with the new balls), coloring (on the new paper and crayons) and just receiving a hug were the steady scene during our day long visit with these children.
The amazing skill of children; making friends...
Nani and Grace were instant friends. Nani made it her mission to paint every child's finger and toe nails. They just loved it! And so did Nani, my little missionary. The location of her beauty salon? A pile of urine smelling mattresses...
Judging by the photos you might think that the children have what they need. And yes to some extend I would agree. The buildings are great, they have nice beds, even mattresses, they even have some cloths. I was confused by what I saw. Tineke and I went to the convent and asked some questions. Church politics is the best way to describe the root of the problem. Funds are not given to the orphanage... It is a very sensitive issue... we were told. When asked if it was right that the children had to go without food and live in filthy circumstances the answer was not one of resolution of the problem.
The compound has land for cultivation, there are cows and pigs for manure and reproduction(an income generating activity) there are even chicken coupes, just no chickens.
To hire two people to cultivate and take care of the animals, feed them and have proper tools it would cost about $50 per month. The result would be fresh foods, milk and eggs, income generating possibilities and just a healthy diet for the children. The guarantee that they do not go to bed with an empty stomach.
For only $75 per month additional foods, supplementing what cannot be home grown, can be bought and would cover basic medical attention needs. For $150 per month all of these children can all have the chance to a healthy and basic needs covering life. SoZo Ministries has fallen in love with the children and deeply touched by the need of the Rwaza orphanage. We are desiring to help any way we can. You will definitely see more photos of these sweet children in the future.


Eric & Kyla said...

It seems as if all these babies know in their spirits Jesus is with them. They all have a sparkle in their eyes. Amazing! They are all so special! Keep up the good work guys!

Andi Hopkins said...

dammit. i miss rwanda so much, it's not even funny. :( i want to come back!

lillipop said...

Hi Guys,
My friend and I desperately want to go and help out in an orphanage in Rwanada. Your experience sounds exactly like what we would love to do. Therefore do you have any contact details or tips for us? Thanks
ps. my email is

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