African Evangelistic Enterprise
RCF is partnering with African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) in Rwanda to help address the needs of these forgotten children. AEE is an African organisation committed to serving the poorest of the poor. In particular, RCF supports three main projects:
1. Child-Headed Household Project
There are over 100,000 children living in child-headed households, accounting for 13% of Rwandese families. The 1994 genocide, poverty and the spread of AIDS are the main factors that have led to this situation.
With no one looking out for them, these children are very vulnerable to exploitation and often have to drop out of school to work. As a result, they suffer not only from extreme poverty, but also from inadequate social support and they don’t receive government assistance.
Since 2007, RCF has partnered with AEE to establish a socio-economic support program for these children and is working with over 750 children in 300 families in the Rwamagana district.
The children are receiving emotional support through community mentors who visit them regularly, cows and goats for income generation, new homes, vocational skills training and start-up capital for small businesses. The children are also a part of self-help groups and forums that are empowering them to improve their livelihoods.
2. Empowering Vulnerable Youth to Become Entrepreneurs
The streets of Rwanda's cities and towns are "home" to multitudes of children and youth who don’t have parents or other adult mentors or caregivers. They are part of the all-encompassing tragedy of genocide, war and HIV/AIDS.
They live by their wits, often using illegal means to earn enough money to survive. They scrounge in rubbish; they find dubious shelter in ditches or alleys; they are subject to weather, and are easy prey to disease and unscrupulous adults. Virtually none of these children go to school. Prostitution offers a grim and dangerous option to many.
RCF is partnering with AEE to respond to the educational, emotional, physical and health needs of street children in Rwanda through an education and outreach project which involves building relationships with children who are still on the street.
3. Centre for Champions
The Champion Centre is located in Rwamagana, a town about an hour outside Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, in 2007.
The Centre provides education and dormitory accommodation for Kigali street children seeking a better quality of life. The Champion Centre consists of accommodation, classrooms, a multi purpose hall, kitchen, basketball court and a sports ground. As well as feeding, clothing and educating the students, the Champion Centre ensures that students receive medical treatment if required.
RCF is supporting the education of these children and there is the capacity for many more children to come and reside at this facility, but funds are needed to enable AEE to accommodate more children.