Disability is not an inability. In good voices, pupils with disability sang and matched to showcase music talent as they entertained guests on the International Day of the African Child.
In their green t-shirts, black trousers, and skirts, they treated participants with traditional songs known as Amaraba in celebration of their day on June 16 in Gahanga, Kicukiro district. Excited guests stood in awe to watch and dance with the performers.
It was a day marked by pledges of advocacy to further promote child rights in the country and the continent at large.
Every year, International Day for African Child is celebrated to raise awareness to improve the education, safety, and living conditions of children, most especially the most vulnerable.
It was celebrated at Inshuti Zacu Gahanga Management, the daycare center located in Kicukiro district, Kigali City. It takes care of pupils with several disabilities, especially autism disorders.
Autism is a developmental disorder that impacts the ability of the child to communicate and interact. It affects the nervous system and makes it difficult for a child to communicate, and impacts social interaction.
The centers handle 79 pupils. They are taught sanitation, reading, numeracy, and speaking, among lessons. The center also sensitizes parents not to neglect children with disabilities, but to take them to the daycare program.
New facility launched
To mark the day, a new facility worth Rwf125 million was inaugurated to increase the intake number of pupils with disabilities. A new van worth Rwf28million was also launched to transport pupils from their homes to the center and to hospitals for treatment.
According to Dative Nikuze, the Director of the center, this year only 410 pupils with disabilities were registered in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district.
However, the center had the capacity to take care of only 79.
“We are going to increase the number of pupils to take care of. Children are a gift from God, and we have a responsibility as families and citizens to take care of them, without discrimination,” Nikuze said.
The new facility and car were funded by Hope and Homes for Children, an International Charity organization that aims to have children grow in a safe and good environment.
“Projects like this cannot succeed without heroes like these good facilitators. No child should be left behind, they are gifts of God. Hope and Homes for Children contribute to the elimination of orphanages, and this is similar to Rwanda’s commitment,” Innocent Habimfura, Country Director of Hope and Homes for Children said.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to have children raised well and in their families. The support could be there, but parents have to be responsible enough if we shall eliminate orphanages and have good and healthy children,” he added.