Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rwanda Country Information

I found this information on a blog I follow,

"Rwanda, one of the poorest countries in the world, is a beautiful country struggling under the weight of the devastating genocide that occurred in 1994, when over 800,000 Rwandans were brutally murdered – leaving families decimated and the country’s infrastructure in shambles. In the aftermath of this tragedy, poverty increased, particularly among children. Half of Rwanda’s population is under the age of 18. Most of these children live on less than $1 a day. The infant mortality rate remains high at 37 per 1000 live births, and illnesses like HIV/AIDS have created a new wave of orphans. (Source: UNICEF)

Since the genocide, Rwanda has made great strides in advancing its economy and stabilizing its government; however, the orphan crisis has been largely unaddressed. In the entire United States, with a population exceeding 300 million people, there are 130,000 adoptable children . Compare that to the nearly 860,000 orphans in Rwanda - a country just the size of Maryland, with total population of 10.7 million people. This number of Rwandan orphans includes children in orphanages as well as an orphan group made up entirely of ‘child-headed households’. “Rwanda has one of the world’s largest proportions of households that are headed by children (i.e. children raising children) with an estimated 101,000 children heading up some 42,000 households.” (UNICEF, 2004)
Until 2008, Rwanda did not allow international adoptions. Because Rwanda has just recently opened to international adoption, the country does not have the same advanced adoption resources and infrastructure as seen in the United States and other countries. There remains an overall lack of awareness of the crucial needs and life-threatening conditions that Rwandan orphans face."

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