Nyanza South Province, 24 April 2008 (FH) - "Even when I am with my companions , I still feel loney", explains Jean de Dieu Harerimana, 21, one of the 75,000 orphans, victims of the bloody 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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 "My loneliness stretches back to 14 years when, at the age of seven years, I suddenly found myself alone, because somewhere someone had decided so", he mumbles. His family had eleven children, now Harerimina only has his 19-year-old little brother left. Without any other relatives, neither from his paternal or maternal side, he told Hirondelle Agency.

Harelimana is head of a household of six children, one of the 10 in the same situation in the village for orphans of Mukingo, one of the sectors of the District of Nyanza. "Look, he says, there is neither a field nor a garden here. We live only because of some good Samaritans. Hence, certain children leave the village, the families close their doors and flee the problems, to return a month later from their peregrinations of beggars. Poverty and dependence give us nostalgia of our parents".

The village of Mukingo has in all 60 orphans, about half are students who, during the holidays, live off small domestic jobs, which is the daily routine of those who remain at home because they do not go to school.

"We will cultivate for them two hectares of manioc as a source of food but also of income. And then, as a durable solution, the Caisse Sociale du Rwanda announced, on 11 April 2008, an aid to create a sewing workshop. They need to gain skills", entrusted to the Agency Mrs. Charlotte Nyirampyisi, an official for social affairs in the sector.

The young Harerimana has his secondary education diploma in electricity. But a job remains illusive. "How do you want me to find a job without recommendations, without pistons? My neighbour, Vincent Kamugisha, has been without any job for the past four years with his diploma in commerce and accounting", he says with an air of defeat.

At the headquarters of the Association of Orphans who are Heads of Households (AOCM), which has 16, 000 members in the country, Mr. Alfred Habineza, Executive Secretary, remains trustful in spite of challenges which he considers enormous.

"We are searching the countryside to find financial backers, some answer for housing, others for material assistance or training in trade. But, the fact that these children live together without knowing each other,
hinders very much the organization of activities to generate revenue. But soon all will be fixed", he said optimistically.

"You know what my name "Harerimana" means? It is God who educates and raises", he explains with a glance to the five members of his new family, including the youngest who is 14 years old.

© Hirondelle News Agency