Search the site
An Heroic Ministry
Verse of the day
YWI - working with...
YWI is pleased to work in association with
Fuller Youth Institute, US
Sophia Network, UK
A heroic ministry
Gasogi Football Club 1 : Kabuga Football Club 0
There is nothing unusual about this headline - Gasogi FC obviously won the match. Nothing strange about the fact that this is the score line for a match between two obscure teams in the Rwandan High School League.
However, you might find it peculiar to know that none of the boys in Gasogi FC actually attend school - not because they are too old (or too young) - not because they do not wish to - but simply because they cannot afford the school fees. You may find it alarming to find out that each of them was orphaned by the violence that ripped though their community 14 years ago - that as a result each was homeless until just a few years ago.
You might find it incredible - even inspirational - to know that thanks to Steven Turikunkiko (a local Rwanda Pastor)these boys now have a place to call home. Not an orphanage but a community. "I set up this football club in our community because so many young people who are orphans were so lonely and in such a spirit of despair that I have actually seen some die for lack of hope" said Steven.
Steven approached the local Catholic Church for land for the football pitch, he found a coach willing to help, and together with some friends managed to patch together some kit and finally got the team registered in the league.
Steven uniquely understands the plight of Rwanda's widows and orphans as he too was orphaned as a child. Steven was born to Rwandan parents in exile in Uganda where he was later orphaned in the 1980s during the Amin era. In 1995 Steven relocated to post-genocide Rwanda to plant a church and establish a project that could holistically respond to the needs of his community.
Steven has launched two main initiatives. The first is the establishment of a new community of 160 widows and teenagers (many of whom were orphaned in 1994) and 80 younger children all of whom look to Steven for their hope and survival. This community live together, support each other, farm together, work together and care for those among them who are dying of Aids.
The second is the adoption of 20 orphans into his own household. Together with his wife and their 2 children and 3 other adults they are now a household of 27. Steven is poor by any measure and as a family they currently subsist on less than $1 per person per day.
Through these initiatives people have started to belong again and with that comes a sense of purpose and hope. And the Gasogi Football Club is just a small part of it.
For more information on Steven and this incredible community of hope see www.friendsofsteven.org