If a child is willing to leave the streets, we first remove him from the harsh reality of street life, where he is exposed to drugs, prostitution and crime, and bring him to the safety and security of our centre. We provide the child with three nutritious meals per day, a safe place to stay in our dormitories and basic healthcare.
In order to rehabilitate the children from the habits acquired on the streets we use a body/mind approach:
For the body, we provide sports training including - gymnastics, acrobatics, football, basketball, volleyball, traditional dance, etc. The child is also expected to do certain chores while at the centre, e.g. collecting water, washing clothes, cleaning, preparing food, etc. We also organize regular trainings on hygiene promotion and important health issues such as Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV/Aids.
For the mind we provide education at local primary and secondary schools, vocational training (plumbing, welding, catering, etc.) at various partner centres, counselling by a qualified psychotherapist and continuous support from social workers. Children have access to over 4000 books in our library, as well as art supplies and volunteers regularly run art classes. We also train children to be computer literate at our computer lab.
Ultimately, we believe the centre is a transitional solution. The final goal is for the child to be reintegrated back into Rwandan society once he has been rehabilitated completely. If the child is old enough, and has education and training in a particular vocation, we help him to find a job in a local company.
If the child has family that is able to look after him, we slowly reintegrate the child after several visits to his home and to local authorities to ensure that all parties are supportive of the reintegration. Most cases are more complicated and families require partial help (e.g. with school fees). Whatever the case, we take a highly-sensitive and personal approach towards reintegration and ensure that our social workers make regular follow-up visits to track the progress of the child.