Story of survival...
Of course you are asked all the time by thousands of worthy causes to help support children around the world. We are asking you to please consider making a contribution now to this cause because of these two wonderful kids, Claude and Hassan, who are left to survive on the streets of Kigali.
For Hassan and Claude, your support at this time would mean more than just access to education; it would mean survival.
Claude and Hassan were students of Rebecca Davis Dance Company (RDDC), a not-for-profit organization that uses dance as a tool to engage and advance underserved youth in post-conflict and developing countries. They lived at the FIDESCO temporary shelter for street kids.
The Story of Claude…
I want to be able to go to a school and study dance to achieve that dream of mine.
Claude was also one of the first RDDC students in the FIDESCO dance program. Since December, he had diligently attended every dance class on time and consistently improved. Claude uses his mind before he processes movement, and his ability to comprehend concepts intellectually made him a mature, focused student in our program.
Sometime during spring 2012, Claude was re-integrated into his family in Gisenyi. Claude had repeatedly said that he could not live with his family for a long period of time: it wasn’t safe, he had no food and he would never be able to go to school. At the age of 13, Claude has never had the chance to learn to read or write his name – even though his performance in dance class proves that he has all the ability needed to succeed academically.
This summer, RDDC discovered that Claude had run away from home and was taken by the police to a detention center in Kigali. On August 30, 2012, Claude will be taken from the detention center back to his family, but it is nearly certain the same situation will repeat itself. By the end of September, Claude will most likely be back on the street trying to find a way for him to manage to eat everyday.
RDDC is trying to secure the $1,200 USD needed to send Claude to boarding school and keep him off the streets. His dream has always been for the chance to go to school. Now, that is not only dream – it is a necessity for survival.
You can read Claude's thoughts and see his photos here: http://rwandayouth.com/claude-imanaishimwe/
The Story of Hassan…
If I could change something in the world, I would change my history so that people don’t talk about me as a child who doesn’t go to school.
Hassan was one of the first RDDC students in the FIDESCO program last December. All of the teachers took note of him because of his two defining qualities: exceptional talent, and extremely quiet, reserved behavior. He wasn’t like the other street boys who had been on the streets for years trying to fight for food and defend themselves daily. Hassan was withdrawn and rarely made eye contact with anyone.
Early in 2012, Hassan was re-integrated into his family and left the FIDESCO temporary shelter. For some time, it seemed that perhaps the problems at home had been resolved and he would remain there. However, this spring RDDC learned that he had run away from home and was living on the streets until he was captured by the police. He was sent to a temporary detention center for children in Kigali. Hassan ran away from there, worried that he would be forced back into living with his family. Since then, he has been living at a gas station on a street in Kigali.
On August 27, 2012, Hassan showed up at RDDC’s dance class at FIDESCO and asked for help. He is not safe with his family. He cannot return to live at FIDESCO because his time limit there has expired. He cannot keep surviving on the streets without food, a place to sleep, clothes or any sort of access to education. He has no one to help him.
RDDC is looking for financial support to send Hassan to boarding school as soon as possible. At boarding school, he will have shelter, food, clothing and education. Most importantly, he will be safe and he will survive. There is immense time pressure to secure $1,200 USD in funding in order to secure his spot at school for one year and move him off the streets as quickly as possible.
You can read Hassan's thoughts and see his photos here: http://rwandayouth.com/hassan-tuyisenge/
What Happens Now?
RDDC needs to raise a total of $2,400 USD in order to secure the first year of boarding school for each child:
- $325/term x 3 terms = $975 USD total tuition fees for 1 year
- $300 = registration and living materials (mattress, toiletries, cooking utensils, clothes, writing books, school supplies)
- $25 = transport to/from boarding school
All funds raised will be used for paying these expenses. Any extra funds will be used to help all the other kids who are about to leave FIDESCO shelter and return to the streets.
Rwandayouth.com is a website that profiles the lives of Rwandan street children who have shared their stories through a joint program sponsored by Rebecca Davis Dance Company (RDDC) and FIDESCO-Rwanda. These children temporarily live at FIDESCO and attend the RDDC dance program while the organizations raise funds to re-integrate them into their families and/or send them to boarding schools in Rwanda.
Rebecca Davis Dance Company (RDDC)
RDDC is a not-for-profit organization that uses dance as a tool to engage and advance underserved youth in post-conflict and developing countries. The organization has field offices and programs for children in Rwanda, Guinea and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Each program combines dance classes with a vocational or educational workshop (IT, basic health, water sanitation, English/French language lessons). www.rebeccadavisdance.com
In Rwanda, RDDC partners with FIDESCO to offer dance and IT classes at a temporary shelter for street children between the ages of 9 and 15 years. The children study dance three days a week and IT twice a week. RDDC launched rwandayouth.com to help find a solution to children who would normally return to the streets after they leave FIDESCO.
Thank you so much for your support.