Jean Baptiste Nsenga

Jean Baptiste Nsenga thumb

Jean Baptiste Nsenga

I am 18 years old and live in Gikondo, which is part of Kigali.  I live with my mother, my sister and one brother.  My father died during the genocide.  He was a good man – a man of integrity.  But unfortunately, he died when I was still very young.

 

When my father died, our life at home was hard and I decided to live on the street.  Living on the street is the same as living on your own.  Nobody cares.  If you get sick, you just sit there – nobody cares.  You don’t have anything to do.  I was six years old when I started living on the street.  You have to think all the time about how you will survive.  I would go to the market and make 100Rwf (about 20 cents) by carrying boxes for people.  I never made more than 500Rwf ($1 USD) in a day.  Although the life I live now is not perfect, it is a much better life than that of the street.  On the street, you just wait to see what will happen: will you die or will you survive?

 

My mother looked for me everyday, but she never found me.  I didn’t know how to find her either, but I thought maybe one day I would.

 

During that time, when I was 12 years old, there were some people who have and adopted me – Cyprien and Daphrose Rugambe, which is the couple that started FIDESCO.  When they died, the other teachers brought me into their lives as if I was their own child.  They took me to school.  I started and finished primary school.  FIDESCO also found my mother.  She was so amazed because she thought she had lost me when I was six.  My mother was so happy to see me come back home through the work of FIDESCO.  She cried.  She knew it was me.

 

Then, SURF, the survivor fund, helped me to continue my studies.  I am now in Senior 5 in secondary school, meaning I have just two years left.  I am so grateful that I managed to get to the level I am at now.  I want to become a good man who shows the importance of responsibility. I never used to think of myself as a person who is worth anything, so I didn’t care about anybody or anything.

 

I lived a very bad life when I was young, but every year, my life keeps changing.  I realize that, in the future, things will continue to improve each year.  Now that our country is developing, our lives are improving.  Because of the life I lived on the street, I know I really don’t want to see any other kid live on the street ever.  I want to tell parents to love their children, to help their children, so they don’t run away to live on the streets.  The life there is just too hard for children.


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