Gisimba Afterschool Program Initiative in order to progress with helping vulnerable children from surrounding community.
Currently, there is an improvement in children enrolled in primary schools as they represent almost 100%. Despite, a major enrollment rate in primary schools, there is a problem in preprimary schools which enroll only 17% and; the quality of education and access to education for most vulnerable children still need a major improvement (www.unicef.un). Looking at the Rwandan population overall primary school completion rate, which is still low, there is a problem as to how many parents are able to assist their children as to improve their academic performance.
Actually, there are an ever increasing number of children with juvenile delinquency behaviors and those who run away for the street life, due to instability of their family structure, lack of Parental control, poverty, and child’s environment maladjustment, and this could affect children in their overall development. Rwanda has made significant steps in the protection and development of the child that it has even initiated and approved ECD policy (early childhood policy) but currently, it is accessed by only 13% of children who only live in urban area and who are only from wealthy families.
It is with this regard that Gisimba Memorial Center try to find a solution by implementing a childhood development care program for all children regardless of any kind of discrimination. This would enhance child protection and fight against child abuse and neglect facing vulnerable children.
History of Gisimba Memorial Center
The idea of the foundation Gisimba started after the second world war(2ww) in 1946, there was a famine in Rwanda called Ruzagayura where children were dying on the hills and other vulnerable people too, Gisimba Melchior was a Christian Man devoted to help people but mostly children, he could always gather people at his home for sharing food, water and mostly important teaching them to love and help one another, Unfortunately in 1976 he died one of his son Peter and his wife Dancille Gisimba continued his work by welcoming orphans at their private home.Some few years early 1980 they found a huge place where children would have space because they were increasing, Unfortunately 1986 Peter and two years from that his wife also passed away.
Among their son the elder one Mutezintare Gisimba Damas continued the work of his parents, because he was always told by his parents that when they will no longer belong to this world they don’t want all these children scatter or get back to distress. He worked with friends of his parents so that the responsibility and lives of children remain alive. The work of GMC is done in honor of these two inspiring people who gave so much of themselves to others, and changed the lives
During the tragedy of 1994 Genocide where cries of children could sound at any second, screaming of women and people were deprived from their rights, Gisimba memorial center through Heroic action Mutezintare Gisimba Damas was welcoming children sent by their parents later on adults. 405 lives were rescued at the orphanage with a help of an American aid worker Carl Wilkens who stayed in Rwanda during that horrific time.
In 1995, the orphanage continued to give and welcoming so many orphans, but some were adopted once in awhile others could sometime find their relatives or their family members. Normally a child born with a right to live in a family, have a shelter, food right to be educated and most importantly to be loved. In 2012 Rwanda has adopted a new policy which was to reintegrate children into the community with working at the national level encouraging local adoption and family care protection. The work of GMC is done in honor of these two inspiring people who gave so much of themselves to others, and changed the lives.
It is in that perspective, Gisimba Memorial Center with its mission of providing and advocate the rights of a child, with the capacity of educating and give a child an opportunity to discover, interact, play and socially relate or interact with other children while also stimulating academic performance and ethical behavior, Gisimba initiated a program called Gisimba After School Program Initiative which aims to provide children and young adults the opportunity to explore skills and talents through educational, recreational, cultural and Arts activities.
Every Child has the potential to acquiring and develop skills not only to give them a sense of meaning and identity but also empowering them to become fully active citizens in the development of Rwanda.
Empowering community for self-reliance
Our mission is promoting child’s rights, promotion of volunteering spirit and community stewardship