Cary was only seven when her mother left her in a remote orphanage for children with disabilities in Rwanda because she could no longer cope without support.
Cary is 15 years old now and she is still there. Cary is a bright, articulate girl who loves learning and football. She hates the orphanage. “No one cares for me here,” she told us. Cary shares a cramped dormitory with boys as well as girls. Many of the other children have severe mental as well as physical disabilities but they have only a handful of untrained staff to care for them.
Cary has spent half her childhood, stranded in this silent, loveless place. She has nothing and no one to call her own. “I want to be at home and be part of a family,” she says. “I don’t want to live in silence anymore.” Cary is so desperate to leave the orphanage that she recently went on hunger strike. It did no good. She still begins and ends every day the same way: Alone.
But it doesn’t have to be this way – for Cary or the hundreds of thousands of other children, growing up in silence in orphanages across Africa.
Every pound you donated to the End the Silence campaign before the 27th December 2017 was doubled by the UK Government. Hope and Homes for Children will use the money raised to pioneer the first orphanage closures for children with disabilities in both Rwanda and Uganda.
Our dedicated social workers, alongside our partners at Childs i Foundation, will work with individual children, tracing their families and giving them the support they need to become a family again. Where this isn’t possible we will find and train specialist foster families who can give children the love and security they need to thrive.