Elizabeth, born approx 1987

My name is Elizabeth. I was born in the small town of Gisenyi. I became orphaned when I was a little baby, so I didn't know who my real mother was, and I've passed my whole life in different orphanages. I knew my father but didn't have a chance to stay with him because he was unable to take care of me.

After my mother's death I was brought to the orphanage of a lady called Mrs. Christine. I stayed in that orphanage until the 1994 war and then we all fled to Goma in the Congo. After a few months we went to another place called Keshero, also in the Congo. Many months had passed and the authority of the orphanage decided to return me to Rwanda. In Rwanda I continued to stay in an orphanage with other children who had been separated from their families. Many of the children found theirs. But for me and other children, we didn't have families, so they sent us to different orphanages. I was brought to the Imbabazi Orphanage where I started primary school.

In 1997 we were forced to leave Mugongo the place where the Imbabazi Orphanage was founded because of violence. We then came to stay in Gisenyi town. I am happy to be in the Imbabazi Orphanage with other kids with whom we share everything; good or bad, the past and the present and perhaps the future.

I cannot close without saying thank you to all who care about us, especially the one who is both our mother and father and our everything.

In 2006 Elizabeth will complete her 4th year of Secondary school and has changed a lot in the few years passed. She has grown up and seems much older than her age!

Send email messages to the photographers: