20 May 2020

Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery keeps children with disabilities in Rwanda safe

By supporting our work in Rwanda, players of People’s Postcode Lottery are keeping children with disabilities at home with loving families, and safe from orphanages, during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Carrol surrounded by family

Reunited with his family, Carrol now has the love and protection he needs to stay safe and thrive.

We are grateful to the Postcode Equality Trust, funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, for backing our programme in Rwanda, as well as our global advocacy efforts to eliminate the use of orphanages for all children.

Decades of evidence proves that orphanages subject children to high levels of sexual and physical abuse, extreme neglect and can stunt their physical, emotional and psychological development. This is especially true for children who are living with disabilities.

And orphanages are not necessary. The majority of the 8 million children who are confined to orphanages around the world today have families who could care for them if they had the right support. Poverty and disability are among the pressures that force desperate parents to make the heart-breaking decision to relinquish their children to institutions.

By reuniting children with their families, building new families through fostering and adoption, and ensuring support to keep vulnerable families together, Hope and Homes for Children will leave no child behind as we work with the Government to close all Rwanda’s remaining orphanages.

 

“Decades of evidence proves that orphanages subject children to high levels of sexual and physical abuse, extreme neglect and can stunt their physical, emotional and psychological development. This is especially true for children who are living with disabilities.”

 

In 2018, Sanjay Singh, Senior Programmes Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, visited our programme in Rwanda and met Steve, a child with cerebral palsy who spent the first five years of his life in an orphanage.

“If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I don’t think I would have believed it”, Sanjay wrote. “When Steve first joined his foster parents, both his legs were broken and he was incontinent. Thanks to their devotion, his recovery has been extraordinary. Today Steve is ten years old and he is a happy, playful confident boy who is clearly very much loved.”

 

“If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I don’t think I would have believed it… Thanks to their devotion, his recovery has been extraordinary.”

 

Crucially, during the Coronavirus pandemic, support from the Postcode Equality Trust means that our team in Rwanda can continue to keep vulnerable children safe in families, stop further children from entering orphanages and ensure that orphanages are never a solution, now or in the recovery from this pandemic.

Because of the generosity of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we will be able to support vulnerable children and families in the short term through the crisis, and also in the long term as they rebuild their lives in the wake of the pandemic.