Emmanuel Dushimirimana was born in Gisenyi, Rwanda in 1994, while the genocide was ongoing. Only at 2 weeks of age, he lost both of his parents and was left to survive on his own. He grew up in an orphanage until 2012, when the Rwandan government decided to close all orphanages and place all orphan children in foster families. However, the foster families are often poor and struggle to find the means to provide proper education for the children. Even Emmanuel was not able to finish his education.
Emmanuel, having gone through a rough experience as a child, wants to help the children in a similar situation as him. Emmanuel has stayed in touch with the nursery school in Gisenyi, where he used to study as a child, and collects donations and brings books & materials to the school.
Moreover, he has established the Kunda Village Ministry to collect donations for the children in the poor village of Kunda in Gisenyi where he himself also spent some time. Emmanuel knows the children, their needs and special requirements and is actively looking for contributions from his friends and networks.
To give you an idea of how poor these children and their families are: most of them do not even have shoes to protect their little feet. If you own a pair of shoes, you are already richer than the children in the Kunda village. When I visited Gisenyi, we brought the children new pairs of slippers. This is a small gesture, but brought an enormous smile on the face of the children.
Emmanuel wishes to be able to find a space where he could start a school for these children, who currently have no access to quality education. In the school building, he would also be able to wash them and take better care of them, as now they only wear old, dusty and torn clothes. He is also dreaming of starting a small business for the villagers in order to offer them better chance to sustain themselves. He wants to teach them skills in tailoring, handicraft and farming.
Despite the sad beginning of his life, Emmanuel has come far. He is smart and proactive, and has set up his own website to better communicate with potential sponsors and donors for the altogether 200 children. All this work he has done and continues to do, is out of the sheer desire to help others.
Visit Emmanuel’s website to take a closer look into the children of Kunda Village. You can also support them through this crowdfunding campaign. I have said it before and I will say it again: every little helps – skip a visit to the coffee house once and donate the money to bring a smile to the face of the little angels.