Saving baby Olivier – a story from Family member Uyisenga Ni Imanzi

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Family’s member organisation Uyisenga Ni Imanzi in Rwanda is reconnecting abandoned children with safe, caring families. One of them is Olivier – who found new parents in Patrick and Sonia. 

In Rwanda, 39 per cent of the population live below the poverty line,  16 per cent in extreme poverty. When families are living in poverty, every day is a fight for survival. Finding just the basics of food and shelter is a battle, and children are the most vulnerable. This means that for some mothers, the only imaginable option is to abandon their baby. Family For Every Child’s member Uyisenga Ni Imanzi, a long standing, respected organisation in Rwanda, then step in to find a loving foster family for the child as soon as possible. 

Earlier this year, Patrick and his wife Sonia got a call from Uyisenga Ni Imanzi and they rushed to the hospital. A young, malnourished baby had been found near the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The couple agreed to foster the baby and named him Olivier.  Sonia had recently given birth to their daughter Claudine, so she could feed the abandoned baby and her daughter at the same time. 

“Olivier seemed to know that he had been abandoned. He wouldn’t eat or drink. At first, he would only bond with me, but soon he built a bond with Sonia, my wife.”

Patrick himself grew up a in a difficult family environment and he told us that his own upbringing showed him early on, that he wanted to help children one day. “I always wanted children of my own, but I knew I would foster children too,” says Patrick.

After marrying Sonia, the two became involved in the foster care programme run by our Uyisenga Ni Imanzi. With training and ongoing support, the couple felt ready to foster their first child together. Just five months later they received the phone call that took them to little Olivier.

Uyisenga Ni Imanzi’s successful foster care programme has been supported through their membership of the Family For Every Child alliance. Working alongside other members and sharing their expertise has meant that the parents they work with receive the best support, ensuring the children in their care can thrive.

Olivier may be less than a year old, but Patrick knows that his future is bright, and that Sonia and him are equipped to support the child in the best way possible. Through Uyisenga Ni Imanzi’s support programme,  the young couple have big aspirations for little Olivier. Who knows, maybe one day he, like Patrick and Sonia, will go on to have an impact on the lives of future generations and help other children in need.

 

“I imagine him growing up, getting married and starting his own family. I’ll ensure he gets a good education. I’d love for him to become a doctor specialising in children’s medicine on day, that would be amazing.”

– Patrick

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