Investing in the Next Generation
Alex has one semester left before his final year of high school. We met him in town on Aug 30 2011 and gave him 90,000 Rwf ($150) so he can stay in high school for the next few months. He thanks the people who support us and he committed to pray for us all.
Tara & Kelly Visit Ishimwe
Tara and Kelly are speech therapists and they have given their vacation time to come to Kigali and provide free therapy to children with autism and other learning difficulties. This is especially valuable because as far as we know, there are no speech therapists in Rwanda. Parents of special needs children are desperate for some sort of help and advice and until now have had nowhere to turn.
Apart offerring their professional services, they have spent time playing with our children, helping with the move to Bugesera, visiting a school for the deaf, seeing a baby gorilla confiscated from a poacher and even going on a safari in Akagera National Park.
See their blog at http://tkafrica.blogspot.com/
New School in Bugesera District
Nyamata is only 20 minutes drive from Lakeside Fish Farm and the future Ishimwe Center. We have already built one house there and we are aiming to raise funds to build two more so that we can consolidate both sets of children, ourselves and our guests in one location.
Our Saddest Day
It has been almost three years that we have been privileged to care for Giselle and Christian. We were still living in California when Nanny Judith called us asking permission to admit two more to our family. The father was killed, the mother seriously mentally ill and having to be lifted from place to place. So these two were being cared for by their Granny. Once she died, the children had nowhere to go and Giselle, aged 5, was raped. Their uncle, still very young himself was the one who brought them and signed over legal custody to us.
We gave them all the love and security we could and Faith home-schooled them. Recently, we found public school places for them and they were due to start there this August. Unknown to us, their mother had recovered and suprised us one day by showing up at our house and asking to see her children.
On an emotional level, we adore Giselle and Christian and desperately wanted to keep them for ourselves. We could have argued that we have custodial rights, a better environment for them and that they preferred to stay with us, but at the end of the day, we believe that parents should look after their own children. Ironically, the mother, recognizing a good thing, did not want to take them away from us, she just wanted freedom to visit. Our mission however is to look after orphans who have absolutely no-one and these two had suddenly become non-orphans. We heard that the mother wants to put them into an orphanage where she has other children and where she can come and go as she pleases. This is not confirmed.
On August 13th 2011, we had their uncle come and sign another legal document stating that he is retrieving the children and thanking us for caring for them. We sat Giselle and Christian down and explained that their Mommy loves them and wants them back. We packed their things, then their uncle and Nanny Judith took them away. We were devasted and questioned ourselves to see if we have done wrong. We think about them every day and want to visit, but we think that might do more harm than good. Our agreement is that we will check on them in three months. Until then, we just stay here and ache for them. We still have their pictures all over the place and we miss them terribly.