The Orphanage of Hearts (Orphelinat de Cœurs Unis de Jésus et de Marie) is a home for street and orphaned children in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.
The Orphanage was founded in January 2000 by Albert Ntakimazi, a man with great compassion for the children left on street with very little, if any, fundamental rights.
The Orphanage was approved by the Ministry of the Interior (Ministeère de l’Intérieur) in June 2002 (No. 530/398) and has since signed a partnership with the Ministry of National Solidalité. Albert registered the orphanage so that the children may call it home until they have finished their schooling, they are not thrown out onto the streets when they reach a certain age. From 2000 to 2014, two of the orphans have passed their school certificate and have left the orphanage as they found employment.
Today the home has 50 children, roughly mixed between boys & girls aged 0 to 17.
Above are some of the orphans – from left to right
Michael, aged 2, he was found abandoned at the bottom of a ditch; Marino, aged 5, he was thrown over a fence; Diella, aged 3; Jean, aged 6; and Donatien aged 6
Burundi is the one of the poorest countries in the world and so the need to provide each child with at least 1,300 calories per day is a huge challenge.