Thursday, January 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by camera_rwanda.

This is such an important moment, the two orphan sisters'
bonding--their inextricable spirits nourishing their hearts and their lives.
Wow, to be a sister in blood or closeness is unbeatable.

Gisimba Memorial Center.
Kigali, Rwanda.
A fantastic day, full of fun.
June, 2005.

The following is credited to the African Children's Choir which has helped sponsor Gisimba orphans since 1994.

The Choir Travels to Rwanda for Hope and Healing

The African Children's Choir first started helping Rwandan children in the mid 1990's after the horrific 1994 genocide that left nearly a million people dead and hundreds of thousands of orphans to fend for themselves.

Choir founder Ray Barnett traveled to the devastated country with a psychiatric team in late 1994 to assess the situation. Upon learning that many of the children were suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the organization immediately set to work producing training guides and materials on the stress-related disorder and sent teams to Rwanda to train childcare workers across the country on how to effectively address the problem. While in Rwanda, the team forged a special relationship with the Gisimba Memorial Centre, an orphanage located in Rwanda's capital, Kigali.

The orphanage was overwhelmed by the numbers of children lining up for help and was struggling to provide one meal a day. Music for Life, the parent organization behind the choir stepped in to help, providing food and clothing as well as assistance with trauma counseling and education.

Since the mid 90's, several of the children from the orphanage have toured with the choir, and the organization continues to work in partnership with the orphanage to ensure that the children there are well cared for and receive the education they need to succeed in life.


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