Brief History and Mission of AYEP
AYEP was founded in 2009 by medical students in Huye District, Rwanda. As the number of children living on Huye streets was increasing constantly within the last years and there are nearly no other working projects in this field, we thought about a way of helping those children in order to have a constructive influence on their future lives.In the end we came up with the idea of AYEP.
The aim of our project is to establish a contact with the children, to meet them in their own environment, the environment they are used to, to talk to them about their lives before when they were still at home and their current daily life on the street, about their problems and dreams. After we made the contacts and maybe began to gain some trust or funds, our plan is to work out individual future plans with each of the children. As we started with a small group of about 11 children between 13 and 16 years it should be possible to find godparents for each child to support the children individually according to their personal needs and dreams ( for example sending them back to school, supporting them in finding a job or in gaining some money in order to return to their families). Also the godparent is supposed to act as close friend for the his/her godchild, so that apart from the weekly meetings the children can contact their godparents whenever they have a problem. Apart from this individual support we plan to organize weekly teaching sessions about topics such as hygiene, Malaria, HIV, English, writing and reading …, where they also get some healthy food and to set up income projects. The future plans are to increase the number of children, as at the beginning we started with a small group to find out if our idea works. We also want to increase the number of weekly sessions and involve more students from different universities.
In summary the project tries to meet and work with the children in their own environment, where they feel safe. Because according to our first conversations they are most afraid of organizations forcing them in some unfamiliar homes. We want to help them step by step according to their personal needs and speed. As we are a student organization we are limited in time and money but we try to increase the number of our local participants constantly, and also try to fund-raise money in Rwanda and abroad. In the future we plan to establish an international exchange with medical students from other countries, who come to Rwanda, to work in the project and also get the opportunity to do a clerkship in the Teaching hospital of the Medical faculty of the National University of Rwanda.