In 2012, we housed 21 boys at Umugongo house, and immediately reintegrated one other.
A new start
This is a scale model of the new Umugongo House, which will provide greater capacity and stability for the programme The new building will have space for 30 residents, with added space for play and recreation. We plan to start building in May 2013. Find out more about this here.
There are thousands of young people in Kigali who are orphaned, neglected, or otherwise vulnerable and disadvantaged. A cycle of poverty persists in which the poor have limited access to education and thus to opportunity, and young people are unable to fulfil their promise.
Umugongo House is a transitional shelter for boys aged between 5 and 15 who are orphaned, neglected, or who live on the streets. From this shelter, we are able to run a number of projects which have a positive impact on the lives of our boys:
Social work includes behavioural and emotional support during the residential period, and is a long-term process with successful, stable reintegration as its ideal end-point – which means that even after initial reintegration we continue to work to ensure the stability, security and (most importantly) happiness of beneficiaries in their families and the community. Centre Marembo continues to be a place for support, advice, information, and friendship for dozens of boys, seeking to help them move from disadvantage and marginalisation towards empowerment, opportunity, and a chance for a better future.
The weekly drop-in programme (pictured left) complements our main projects by providing a space for children to meet and enjoy each others' company, to learn, and to access our services. It is a welcome opportunity for street children, current and former beneficiaries, and local families to become a part of the Centre, and to have fun!
The drop-in brings together those children already reintegrated into Kigali, the boys from Umugongo House and the the girls of Abatuje House, and other children in the local community. We have information sesssions and discussions on a range of topics including health, education, drugs and other youth-focused issues. We also play games, and children learn about traditional Rwandese culture through song and dance.
These activities gather children together so we have an opportunity to provide them with a healthy meal and can check on their welfare and progress. We also hand out essential school materials and provide access to centre staff. The drop-in acts as a means of ongoing support for all beneficiaries and former beneficiaries so Centre Marembo can ensure permanent, positive change in the lives of beneficiaries!
The drop-in runs on Saturdays from 8am-midday, and on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm.