Street Children's Ministry in Kigali - July 2015 Update
Dear Friends of Rwandan Children,
It has always been a blessing for us at Outreach to bring you stories of lives changed by your generosity. Alfred is one of hundreds rescued by the Presbyterian Street Children’s Ministry in Kigali. As you read his story, think about thousands of others with similar stories. The plight of children in Rwanda and other poor nations compels us to act and not wait. Thanks to congregations who respond so generously, we are able to help children like Alfred get off the streets by offering them education to realize their dreams.
In the words of Alfred Akimanimpaye, rescued by CPAJ:
My name is AKIMANIMPAYE Alfred. I am from Rwanda, and I am 18 years old. I was born into a very poor family and had a difficult relationship with my parents.
I was not well cared for by my parents. Besides being poor, my parents were drinkers and used to come home late at night drunk.
I never went to school. I was forced to stay home and work. I was never been treated with respect. Often told I was stupid, I was quiet, shy, and wary. I wondered about my future many times, but I had no answer. I felt so sad when I saw others going to school because I had no hope for my future.
When I was nine years old my father died, and life became even worse. I decided to leave home and beg in the streets. I adopted the miserable ways of life in the streets such as eating food that had been thrown away in the dumpster and sleeping under a bridge. I spent most of my time smoking, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, and begging. I continued to struggle for four years, and my life was miserable and hopeless.
I will never forget the day when the social workers from Centre Presbytérien d’Amour des Jeunes (CPAJ) came with kind words looking for children from the streets to stay in their center and help them go back to school. They spent a lot of time talking with us about the importance of studying. I was convinced even though I had never gone to school. We went with the social workers of CPAJ to the center where I met with other former street children whose lives were changed physically and spiritually. They looked different, clean and happy. It felt like a dream.
When I moved into CPAJ, I took part in different activities such as praying and playing various sports – things I had never experienced before. It was the first time I saw such tremendous care for vulnerable children. I felt a sense of relief and was open to spending time in conversation with the social workers who tried to improve my behavior, showing me how I could give up drugs and alcohol. They pointed me in the right direction and prayed for me. The Word of God finally changed my life. I started going to school, dressing in clean clothes, singing and expressing my ideas to both my colleagues and CPAJ’s leaders. That opened my world to having hope for a better future.
I stayed in the center for twelve months. Then I reintegrated with my family and moved in with my uncle because after my father’s death, my mother sold everything and became a prostitute. I am still going to school. It is challenging, but my CPAJ family is helping me find the courage to continue my studies. My dreams are coming true. I am currently a senior in high school and doing well in school. I plan to attend university, study social sciences, and one day help vulnerable groups like street children, orphans, or people with disabilities or HIV. My wish is to let people know how they may have hope by sharing my experiences with them. I have no doubt that the Lord who rescued me will bring my dream to reality.
I could not end my story without expressing my gratitude to CPAJ’s team who continue helping me and many other children, changing our lives one child at a time.
May God bless all of you who are reading this testimony!
AKIMANIMPAYE Alfred, rescued by CPAJ
Blessed by your partnership,
The Outreach Foundation
Amount needed in 2015
The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise at least $10,000 for the completion of a multipurpose hall and $10,000 for scholarships and medical assistance for the children of CPAJ.. To make a donation, click the Donate Now link in the sidebar.
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