Delphine (14) has two sisters and three brothers. Their parents
died during the genocide. Soldiers collected the children and took
them to an Unaccompanied Children's Centre, where they lived for
three years. Unfortunately, Jeanne, who was 8 at the time, was separated
and had to go to a refugee camp in former Zaire with some neighbours.
Once there, the neighbours deserted her, so she came back to Rwanda
and stayed with two families. At one stage the Red Cross took her
photo to try to trace her family, but they didn't respond. "I thought
they had died," she said. "Then someone told me they were alive.
I was very happy."
July 1997 the children's Centre found their grandfather, and Delphine
and her brothers and sisters went to live with him, but he had remarried
and was struggling to survive himself. Finally the children went
back to their parent's home, where they still live today.
The house is bare.
Two small beds, each with a single woollen blanket, is all the furniture
they have. Here the children sleep, two in one bed and four in the
other. They have no water supply and only one pot for cooking. They
survive because "every good person gives us food." World Vision
helps provide beans and rice, and high protein biscuits for the
youngest child, who is malnourished.
The children have
started to make mats and baskets, which they sell to make a little
money. They also all go to school, a considerable achievement for
an orphan family. Delphine is doing quite well, and may even go
on to secondary school.