Becky and Evode Usabyamahoro (Rwanda)
Mission: Ubaka U Rwanda
Becky, who was a member of Pip & Jims is co-founder of the UK charity and Rwandan NGO that runs a centre for street children and youths to tackle poverty and share Jesus’ love with them. The current charity and centre is an extension of a localised project which works with children in the streets everyday, in the area of Nymirambo, near Kigali the capital. Rwanda has no social services system, and according to UNICEF, it has the highest proportion of street children in the world, particularly that live on the street both day and night.
In Rwanda 90% of street children are boys, due to girls being preferred for domestic work and as they have fewer inheritance rights then boys. In complicated family structures this often results in boys being kicked out by step-parents and/or when there are too many mouths to feed. As a result our centre is male only. Due to genocide in Rwanda in 1994, all those aged 16 and up are the babies and small children from that time so many of those aged 18-25 on the streets are orphans whose earliest memories are this.
They are the unfortunate ones who were never adopted into another family and have been on the streets since that time. It is because of the additional vulnerability in Rwanda’s homeless and traumatised young men that the project works with both children and young men. With the charity, boys are taken off the streets to a rented house where they can be fed, washed and have a safe place to sleep, as well as all their medical needs being paid for.
Since Jan ’09 we’ve also been able to send 63 young boys & young men to school for the first time in their lives, and education and skill-based training are at the heart of the charity, believing this is the best way to provide hope and a future to the abandoned.