Who could have ever imagined that a simple blanket could mean so much in the life of a child? Yet this is the case for ten year old Alice Nzomukunda.Alice lives in Gasorwe orphanage, Muyinga province in the north of Burundi.
Beyond the bright colours of her blanket, she finds another meaning.
Indeed, for her it's not just a blanket. This blanket is her story, a patchwork of emotions, it represents her renewed hope, and her smile found back in the warmth of an orphanage among Sisters Bene Tereza congregation of Gasorwe.
Alice Nzomukunda is the youngest of four children. The family lost their mother after a short illness and were separated from each other, relocated in different families. Alice and her big sister were taken in by their maternal uncle. But their aunt mistreats them so much that they decide to flee to find their father. But as a ‘misfortune never comes alone’, their dad has already remarried and his wife didn’t wanted those little girls; they were not treated well and had to leave school because she refused to her husband to pay school fees for them. One lucky day, the neighbours intervened and implored the nuns to support the children and that is how Alice and her big sister arrived at the orphanage.
As Sister Isaguye Godeberthe in charge of the orphanage says: “The sisters have a big heart but sometimes the resources are lacking to take good care of the children,” they often rely on the good will of the neighborhood and the good Samaritans who visit the orphanage to feed and dress the children.
When the wind whistles at night, Alice and her big sister try to keep each other warm but they shiver at night just like the other 18 children of the orphanage.
Sr. Godeberthe, concerned about the conditions decided to travel to Muyinga's local World Vision office to seek assistance.
And this is how joy, warmth and smiles returned to the faces of Gasorwe’ orphanage children.
‘I no longer shiver at night when I sleep’ says Divin another child who lives in the orphanage.
160 blankets were received by Sister Godeberthe who quickly made wide and warm blankets by sewing two by two to cover the children. Those blankets were gift in kind recently received from World Vision Australia.
For Alice who lacked the warmth in those who normally should have loved her, this blanket has the same warmth as the arms of Sr. Godeberthe who welcomed her with love.
Alice Nzomukunda is now back to school and is a brilliant student with a bright future in front of her, her dearest dream is to have five children at her side when she will grow up. This school year she succeeded with 88.3 per cent.
Overall in Muyinga, 1160 blankets were distributed mainly to children with chronicle diseases.