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Outside Looking In | by camera_rwanda
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Outside Looking In

I actually took a few photographs of the Gisimba children at this and other windows of the classroom in which my translator/friend Denise and I took turns teaching the other orphans photography. Every Saturday, this happened: as we taught a small group of 20 or so eager children inside, others hung onto the louvres outside, looking in at us, their hearts hopeful that the next Saturday, they'd be inside the classroom.


This image, then, is a metaphor to me. How while some receive, others look on, hoping, waiting for their turn. Will it ever come?


Most importantly, what is our role in all of this?


Gisimba Memorial Center.

Kigali, Rwanda. Afrika.

A brightly lit Saturday morning.

June, 2005.


If you are interested in sponsoring an orphan at Gisimba Memorial Center, direct contact information is listed below.

Ildephonse Niyongana - Director

Damas Gisimba - Founder

Gisimba Orphanage

B.P. 1433 Kigali Rwanda


Ave de la Nyarugenge


District of Nyarugenge

tel +250 08524515 or +250 08532596


Bank of Kigali 040-0013914-76

swift BK IG RWRW


Additional information can also be found on


The text below is from


"Centre Memorial de Gisimba (Gisimba Memorial Center)


The Gisimba orphanage, located in the Nyamirambo quarter of Kigali, is led by Damas Mutezintare Gisimba. Damas's father founded the orphanage in 1980 with 18 children living in one house. Damas took over in 1986 after the death of his father. During the genocide Damas sheltered over 400 children and adults in the small orphanage compound from the predations of the interahamwe [the Hutu paramilitary squads that carried out much of the genocide]. Though the orphanage was repeatedly menaced, Damas and his colleagues held their ground and did not give in to the genocidaires. He has been honored for his heroism by the Rwandan government and many other organizations.


The orphanage currently houses over 150 children. Ten years ago almost all were genocide victims, but many of the newer arrivals have been orphaned by AIDS. Because their parents were HIV+, a number of them are also infected."



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Taken on June 18, 2005