Rwandan children of all ages are left alone each day near the border crossing with Democratic Republic of Congo as their mothers peddle food and other goods there. The women say they have no other way to earn money, even though their work forces their children to fend for themselves during the day.
This article refers to a March 26th speech by Paul Kagame. The speech has been intentionally paraphrased, rather than quoted, to comply with Rwandan law that forbids the president's words to be used out of context.
A Rwandan government initiative, which aims to close orphanages and move children into foster family homes, came after growing evidence showed that children in these institutions are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Many Rwandans have embraced the children, who are now thriving in their new homes.
Rwanda has earned honors and become a cleaner country as a result of its work in environmental conservation, such as its ban on plastic bags since 2004. But many of its residents say they still need the bags, and some women have stepped into the breach to smuggle the bags in from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Their financial reward is offset by the risk of arrest, confiscation and beatings.