I feel compelled to write a post about one specific person I’ve met at ISAE. His name is Shumbusho. He has a sister named Nyirahirwe. They are 12 and 9 years old, respectively, and attend primary school every day. They clearly have a lot of love for each other.
Now for the shocking part: They live alone and take care of each other. The 12 year old is the bread-winner for the family – Going to school and also finding enough money to buy (and cook) meager amounts of food for himself and his 9-year-old sister. He spends a lot of time at the ISAE campus. That’s because he can find small jobs to do here. For example, he catches rats and moles when they’re eating people’s crops. For each one he catches, he gets 200 Rwandan francs (about 30 cents).
The next shocking fact: He’s a sweet kid. In my opinion, he doesn’t have to be given his life circumstances. But he’s one of those types of kids that makes you think, “wow, what a polite child.” Usually, I think you can credit the parents for teaching good manners, or something like that. But this kid has no parents. Apparently, it’s just natural.
Shumbusho and his sister are orphans. They have different fathers. Their mother abandoned them shortly after the birth of Nyirahirwe. She didn’t leave them all alone – they were left with their grandmother. Two years ago, the grandmother passed away, leaving them on their own. They have no other family – at least family who cares about them. The mother is around, but doesn’t care to see them.