Our target group are the most vulnerable youth in Kigali between the ages 5-25 years, boys and girls mainly in the area of Kacyiru and the surrounding areas, which is located in the city center and this is where most young people in Kigali are found. Below are the different groups of young people we work with :
1. Orphans :
Orphans in Rwanda used to live in orphanages but the new law is to put them in families. However, sometimes the rehabilitated children do not cope well with the new families and they end up running away and staying on the street and becoming street children
2. Street Children :
The phenomenon of street children is fast becoming a problem worldwide and Rwanda is no exception. There is a real need for increased vigilance/care given the constant rise in the number of street children, especially given their increased exposure to other hazards like HIV/AIDS substance abuse, child labor, early pregnancy, etc. (you need to add a source of this finding) e.g the youth policy,
Street children are considered to be among the MARPs (Most at Risk Populations) for the HIV/AIDS disease given their sexual behavior and their vulnerability to various forms of abuse including sexual abuse and injection drugs use among others. All of these are major influencing factors to HIV infections or other STI’s (sexual transmitted infections). (add source)
The 1994 Genocide, which brutally claimed the lives of more than 800,000 people, left behind thousands of orphans. In addition, AIDS and poverty continue to force many children onto the streets. These vulnerable children live on food from garbage cans and the occasional generosity of passersby, and are often malnourished, sick, and abused.
In addition orphanhood recently has taken a different face of abandonment, where children are abandoned by their parents in search of a better life or remarrying.
3. Teenage mothers :
Recently, alarming news has spread all over the country, of the increase in adolescent pregnancies, especially among school going adolescent girls. (still looking for the report with the numbers but was in the news)
Pregnancy among adolescent girls create risk factors that make them vulnerable. These risk factors include abandonment by families and the fathers of the babies, poverty, poor health of the adolescent mother and the baby, psychological issues as well as financial issues as they are not able to work of money due to caring for their babies.
4. Household maid/help who are under age (under 18 years)
5. children and youth under the influence of alcohol and drugs
6. sex workers/ prostitutes who are children
7. children living with disability especially physical disability and are excluded from other advantages such as attending school, etc