Since 1994, 6 800
children have passed through the doors of the Kacyiru
Orphanage in Kigali, Rwanda. Supported by the
Rwandan and Belgian Red Cross Societies, over 6 500 of the children have
been reunited with their families or placed with foster parents. The children
who remain were either too young to remember their names when they were separated
from their families during the genocide, the mass exodus that followed it,
the return to Rwanda in 1997 or simply have no families to return to.
the fall of 1997, the International Committee
of the Red Cross had reunited 12 000 children through it's tracing program.
Since 1994, over one hundred thousand children have been registered by NGOs
as unaccompanied, roughly half of those have since been reunited with their
Kiginyi, 13 years old, fled Rwanda in 1994. He stayed with a paternal
Aunt in a refugee camp in Zaire. On the return to Rwanda she abandoned him.
He traveled by himself through Rwanda until he wound up at an Orphanage
outside of Kigali. ICRC tracing efforts over a period of a month led him
to the village where his mother lived. Upon reaching the village Kiginyi
was told that his father had died since he had left and that his mother
was living nearby. The reunion took place shortly thereafter.
12 years old, fled Rwanda in 1994. Upon his return ICRC tracing efforts
took on his case. Kagabo remember the name of the village where he had once
lived and he also knew the name of the hill where he had once lived. Although
first efforts at finding his parents were unsuccessful, the hard work of
the ICRC tracing officers paid off and Kagabo was reunited with his parents.
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all photographs copyright christopher black 1996-1999