Presbyterian Street Children's Ministry in Kigali, Rwanda - July 2017 Update
The “Centre Presbytérien d’Amour des Jeunes” (CPAJ) is a faith based non-profit organization working under the authority of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. CPAJ is responsible for the rehabilitation, re-education and reintegration of street children into their families. This requires effective training and an appropriate plan for the children and their families. This is one of the reasons it was important to have a building where the CPAJ children could gather with their parents and CPAJ staff. Due to our good partnership with The Outreach Foundation, we received funding that helped us build such a facility, the multipurpose hall. This hall is being used to accomplish this goal as well as for many other needs of the children and the community in general.
The main objective of the new multipurpose hall is to improve our rehabilitation capacity by promoting recreational and educational activities for the children and providing knowledge to the parents through conferences and other educational tools. The hall is equipped to facilitate coaching activities. We would like for CPAJ to be a center for recreational and educational activities for vulnerable young people. We also rent out the hall to people in the community for meetings and events to generate income to help the children.
The new multipurpose hall includes a large hall which can accommodate 400 people, a staff meeting desk, a storeroom and modern toilets. It is constructed of durable materials: cooked bricks, a self-supporting roof, and glass door frames. Electricity has been installed and painting has been completed. The bathrooms include modern toilets and urinals and are equipped with running water. We installed two cisterns to collect rain water. The building looks clean and bright, inside and outside.
The construction and completion of the multipurpose hall gives CPAJ nice visibility in the community and helps demonstrate the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda’s high level of caring for vulnerable children. The building offers the church a new way to minister to children and the surrounding community. The children use the hall for morning prayers, choir rehearsal, recreational activities (theater, dance), conferences, meetings, ceremonies, and CPAJ festivals. An evangelist provided by the mother parish, Remera-Kicukiro congregation, preaches to the CPAJ children every Sunday in the multipurpose hall. People from nearby neighborhoods join the CPAJ children for worship on Sundays.
We plan to increase the number of recreational activities in the hall. A group of young people already use the hall for learning how to play guitar. The educational and recreational activities will be strengthened and diversified as we have the means.
We have some young people from the community who come and play games with the children who are residents, especially during the holidays. This helps strengthen the social integration of children in our program. CPAJ is a transit center but some children stay for a bit while their best option to be reunited or reintegrated is assessed.
We welcome members of the community who wish to rent the hall for meetings, weddings or other events. The rental fees help us maintain the hall and improve the living conditions of the children.
The completion of this multipurpose hall marked another milestone for the center. We would like to thank The Outreach Foundation and their partners who funded the construction. This work is magnificent for the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda, as well as for the community in general. Pastor Julius Ngendahayo, Remera-Kicukiro congregation, is already using it to evangelize the community. The good news is being shared with our children and the community has a place to worship. It is truly a multipurpose hall and an amazing building. We hope that our partnership will be strengthened, bearing more fruit for the future of our children.
God bless you,
Sophonie RUBYAGIZA KIROTHA
Coordinator of CPAJ
Read more about the Presbyterian Street Children's Ministry in Kigali by clicking HERE.
Outreach is seeking $10,000 for food, clothing, and education for CPAJ.