After the 1994 Rwandan genocide many children were displaced and orphaned, JAM’s Fred Nkunda Life Centre (FNLC) was started shorty after the genocide as a result of this need. The orphanage was originally established together with the late Ugandan national Fred Nkunda who had a vision of empowering children orphaned and displaced as a result of the genocide, thus the orphanage was named after him.
Whilst JAM’s presence in Rwanda was almost immediate, it took 4 years to establish the official orphanage in Rwanda. The partnership with Life Outreach International made the building of the orphanage possible, and in 1998 it was official opened to house orphans of the Rwandan genocide.
Education always played an integral role in the daily lives of the children at FNLC. In line with JAM’s vision of Helping Africa Help Itself education was identified as the key component in empowering the children with the tools and knowledge to survive and flourish once they were reintegrated into society.
Over the years 100s of independent young adults have been reconciled with family and re-integrated into their communities through the intervention of the FNLC and the Young Adults Integration Programme.
JAM Rwanda Skills Training Centre Today
Over the past few years, the FNLC has been transitioning, from providing much needed care for orphans to the provision of vocational skills training for young adults.
Today the Rwanda Skills Training Centre houses only around 20 orphans, but over 150 students in the skills training centre. Students in the skills centre learn cullinary skills, hairdressing, welding, carpentry and masonry
Some testimonials from children who were served by FNLC
I am very thankful for what the orphanage has done for me. I don't know what would have happened to me if the orphanage had not taken care of me like they did, after the war
I lost my real family in the war, but when I came to Gaspard and Monique I got a new family. I am very happy to stay with them and they treat me as if I am their own son.
Thomas Habiyaremye, after integration back into his community
I am very grateful for how the orphanage helped me to prepare for outside life. They helped me get back to school and integrated me into society.
When I leave the orphanage I already know what is good and what is bad, and I will work towards a good life. I think that I will make many mistakes but I will learn through those mistakes what life is really about.
Jean Damascine Munyeshema