What’s Being Done?

To Find Homes for Rwanda’s Orphans 

Families. We all need them. Most of us are lucky enough to have them. Some countries– including several provinces in Canada–celebrate them with a public holiday.

Families come in many sizes and varieties, as author David J. Smith points out in This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children. “Many [families] are made up of one or two parents and one or more children. In other families, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents share the same home.”

But for countless children, the idea of a family–of any size or type–is little more than a wistful dream. And that’s not only a sad reality; it’s also one that’s harmful to their growth and development.

There’s no doubt about it–children do best when raised in a loving family. Indeed, the nations of the world recognized this truth when they wrote it into the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, stating that “the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”

While orphanages¬–those large institutions that provide long-term care for orphaned or abandoned children–are no longer common in Canada or the United States, they remain prevalent in many developing nations, including in Rwanda, but that could soon change.

UNICEF announced recently that they are supporting an ambitious plan in Rwanda to close all of that country’s orphanages and to find homes for more than 3,000 little ones. The closures are expected to take two years.

For more information about this exciting initiative in Rwanda, visit UNICEF.

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