February 7, 2013
“Can you please explain what is happening now to me? This is a miracle.” – Patrick Bihoyiki, former street child attending school
On January 7th, 2013, the academic year started for primary and secondary schools in Rwanda. On January 9th, the fourth child from RDDC’s local partner, FidesCo Rwanda, was registered to attend Sonrise Boarding School, which is one of the most excellent schools in Rwanda according to student scores on the National Examination. Now RDDC is supporting four former street children to attend boarding school for multiple years. Patrick Bihoyiki has joined his colleagues – Jean de Dieu Niyigena, Eric Mugiraneza and Pierre Ngendananayo – in the same school. RDDC hopes that these kids will succeed.
Although all four boys had been living on the streets, they do have some extended surviving family members. The kids were reunified with their families during the winter holidays. However, Eric returned to live at FidesCo’s centre because of problems within his family. After realizing that Eric is living in an unsafe place, RDDC decided to contribute to his accommodation at FidesCo and he was granted permission to return to the center. Pierre lives in Kamonyi, which is the southern province of Rwanda. Jean de Dieu lives in the northern province, and Patrick Bihoyiki is now reunified with his grandfather’s family, which lives in the western province. It was not easy to bring them together, buy them school materials and take them to school to begin their formal education.
When the kids arrived at Sonrise, they were well received by their classmates, who were very happy to see Pierre, Jado and Eric again. All the kids at Sonrise were in a hurry to help them to carry their suitcases and take them to the dormitory. For Patrick, all of this was new:“It seems like I am still dreaming. I can’t imagine how time goes faster.” Then he turned his face to me and added, “can you please explain what is happening now to me? This is a miracle; I can’t find the appropriate words to say thank you. Thank you for everything, and many thanks to Rebecca, you, Ssali and Innocent, and thanks to FidesCo”.
Eugene Dushime is the Country Director for RDDC Rwanda. He is a former contemporary dancer and assists with the RDDC program in Guinea as well.