Rwanda: Migambi and the Initiative to Help Vulnerable Children

11 October 2019

12-year-old Rebecca is the first of seven children. Due to poverty and unemployed parents, she dropped out before she could complete primary school and focused on taking care of her siblings.

Then she met Jean-Paul Migambi, the founder of Child Vision Family (CVF) who put her back into school.

CVF was founded in 2015 after Migambi realised that the streets in his area, Huye, accommodated a worrying number of children.

"Most of the children were very young and the issue was disturbing," he says.

He managed to get over 60 children off the streets and away from the terrible conditions they were in.

CVF is now a family where children, from streets and poor families, gather and learn what they should in school. It is located in Huye District, Southern Province.

CVF operates through various programmes in education, health and family transformation. It equips children with school necessities, food and mentorship. It also trains children in arts and agriculture, trough programmes like "Smile Child".

To make these programmes fully effective, Migambi says, CVF needs significant collaboration with parents and sponsors.

"We still face challenges, and collaboration has intensely affected CVF's cause. There is an increase in the number of children we receive and parents need to help us enforce these programmes," he said.

In spite of limited resources and financial constraints, CVF managed to get these children back into school and provide basics, and it even accommodates the homeless. For the poorest families, CVF also pays health insurance for them.

"We manage to provide healthy food for the children from our agricultural products," he says.

More challenges

Migambi points out that insufficient resources are one of the challenges CVF faces. So far, it relies on members' contribution, which is inadequate.

Also, dealing with parents who don't understand the importance of bringing children together to learn is an issue.

"We are trying to get volunteers and sponsors to tackle the issue of financial means. We also still deal with children who come from far, which makes them miss many important activities," Migambi says.

He also admits that he lacks skills to handle some operations.

Marie-Thérèse Mukantabana's son joined CVF in 2015, she says it transformed their lives.

"I can see that my son is more organised and doing well in school. It is definitely CVF's work," she says. She, however, says that they still need support to expand the initiative's activities.

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