Ivan was taken from his dad, Stoyan, when he was just three years old. Because he has cerebral palsy and his dad is a single parent, the authorities had decided Ivan would be better off in an orphanage. That’s when our social worker, Elitsa, stepped in.
The success of a groundbreaking project to close orphanages in Rwanda and Uganda, shows that all children can leave institutions for the warmth and security of a family, once they have the right support.
A number of children with disabilities, reunited with their families through our work, are now calling on the UN to recognise orphanages as one of the biggest barriers to progress on creating safe, healthy and inclusive communities.
Our pioneering ‘No Child Left Behind’ programme piloted the closure of two orphanages for children with disabilities in Rwanda. Here, Innocent Habimfura, Hope and Homes for Children’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, looks back on an extraordinary journey to lay the foundations for inclusive childcare reform in Rwanda and beyond.