Support and preparation meet determination

Support and preparation meet determination

Unicef reported that an estimated 95,000 children were left orphaned after the 1994 Rwandan genocide took place. Many more children were displaced and separated from their families during the massacre when the Hutu tribe raged a war against members of the Tutsi tribe.

Following the genocide, many civilians and international organisations responded to the crisis with various offers to help the thousands that were affected. Fred Nkunda, a Ugandan civilian, called upon JAM to not only help him reach out to, but also build a home for Rwanda’s orphaned and displaced children.

JAM, working closely with Nkunda, built an orphanage in 1998 with the dream that orphans would be given a fair chance to live, learn and prepare for adulthood outside the Centre. Today, the Fred Nkunda Life Centre (FNLC) is home to 44 children and young adults.

At the Centre, JAM gives orphaned children a second chance at life. Care givers ensure that all children are given as much attention as possible where they not only receive meals and shelter, but also an education. JAM seeks to ensure that each child’s past does not determine his or her future.

Two young friends who decided to take full advantage of the opportunities they received at the Centre are Faustin Ndagijimana and Nsabayezu Uwihanganye. The pair met at the Centre after they lost their parents and relatives during the genocide and became friends.

When they completed their schooling and training at the Centre they used the start-up they received from JAM, as part of their reintegration into the community, to start their own small business. As a result of the training they received from JAM, as well due to their hard work and determination, Faustin and Nsabayezu are a great example of what happens when you not only receive the necessary support, but also when you apply yourself.

In 2009, the pair opened a Hair Salon and Barber Shop and after only one year of successfully running that business, they extended their ventures to open a General Trading Store using profits they had saved from the Salon. Together, both businesses currently employ six people who also formely lived at the Centre.

Having endured much pain and loss at a young age, they have turned adversity into success.

The pair are still in touch with the JAM team and their former mates, and to this day still attribute their success to the support they received. “Had it not been for JAM and the team at the Centre, we would not be here today. We appreciate everything we were taught because it helped shape our future,” they said.

JAM would not be able to do support the FNLC without the help of our donors, to whom we would like to say thank you. Should you wish to make a contribution towards the FNLC or any of JAM’s other programmes, please visit this link, or email us: