in Rwanda, there are at least sixty thousand households run
by children. These are families which were left without parents
after the genocide five years ago.
Here you can listen to these children reflecting on the genocide
and talking about how they are rebuilding and raising their
the war, many girls were
raped by the militia and soldiers on all sides. In addition
to raising their siblings, these girls are also bringing
up the children they conceived when they were raped.
Nyira is one of these girls.
'I was raped by a soldier'
Read Nyira's story
'I could not go to school today
as my baby was ill'
Read Habasa's story
quarters of all child-headed households are led by girls.
There are households where the
age of the oldest child is just eleven years old and
there may be as many as eight children in a household.
money for food and clothes usually leads the children
to beg. Some
girls resort to prostitution to raise money. Fetching
water, cooking and cleaning are all tasks that are shared
amongst the children.
17-year-old Habasa heads a family of five children.
She was raped in a camp and is now bringing up her 2-year-old
son, 2 sisters and 2 cousins. She finds it hard to combine
bringing up a family with going to school.
pray it doesn't happen to others'
Read Habasa's story
the property of these children's parents has been destroyed.
If not it may have been claimed by neighbours and relatives.
The children have to build new houses, or repair damages
to existing homes.
Out in the countryside some homes just consist of plastic
neighbours and relatives help out when they can, these
children still need
support in many areas of their lives.
They need help with the provision of food and basic furniture
for their homes. They need access to health care and education.
UNICEF is trying to rebuild village
life to support these children.
The children also need the emotional support they would
have received from parents and older relatives.
The Barakabaho Foundation tries
to fill this gap.
'They have given up their childhood.'
Iget Rutera, UNICEF,
interviewed by BBC Swahili Reporter Valerie Msoka
'They can visit us like we were
Celestine Musesharuwoka, The