PROLASA Children's Department
Patmos Children's Village -- Kashébéré, Idjwi
The Patmos Children’s Village is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Kivu looking at the mountains of Rwanda on the other side. It is the home to 168 orphaned or abandoned children. It is managed in partnership with International Children’s Care based in Vancouver, Washington, USA.
A Bird’s Eye View of the Patmos Children’s Village Campus
The children are grouped together into 10 homes, each managed by either a housemother or houseparents. Each home has between 15 and 18 children for both genders and a variety of ages. These children learn what it means to be a family. They share the responsibility for food production, preparation and clean up, various household chores and the older children are responsible for taking care of the younger ones.
One of several new homes built by ICC on the Idjwi campus
The Patmos School offers elementary school classes and a few secondary level classes. It is accredited by the Congo Ministry of Education. Classes are in French. Three new classrooms have recently been added by the generosity of ADRA Canada.
Three classrooms of the Idjwi Elementary School
These classrooms are bright and spacious and they are a big improvement over the older, temporary classrooms which were crowded and dimly lit.
A classroom in PROLASA’s elementary school on Idjwi
In the centre of the campus is a football (soccer) field.
The children love the game and it is frequently the scene of intense play. With Unilai University very close, there are sometimes even games with children from the Children’s Village and students from the nearby campus.
There is also a volleyball court. Being that the Children’s Village is located on the shores of Lake Kivu, one of the only lakes in Africa which does not have schistosomiasis (a parasite which enters the skin when in infected water), hippos and crocodiles, all the children have learned to swim well. There are often supervised swimming times and the children love swimming.
Cottage industries on campus help the teach the older children a trade and they also provide some income for the Orphan Village. The current industries include:
- Grinding Mill
- Appropriate Technology Workshop
Though these industries are in their early stages they have helped in numerous ways. They have provided valuable services and employment to the island and they have given the campus children opportunity to learn valuable work skills. Also, as the industries grow and become self-sustainable they are able to generate money to support the children as well as other PROLASA programs.
The Patmos Secondary School is under construction. Soon the first of two buildings will be completed. This will make a big difference for the secondary school students at the Patmos Children’s Village.