Help to self-help for disabled and vulnerable children

Small help center for mentally and physically disabled children

Founded in 2009 and managed by Christine Mukeshimana – physical therapist


Christine Mukeshimana

Date of birth: 10.11.1981

Profession / aktuelle Beschäftigung:

  • physical therapist (2004)
  • Bachelor of Science (2008, Kigali independent University)

What does the center mean for me / my story:

Since my childhood, as I grow up in the country side I have met many people and had about others who were left behind because of their disabilities.I was always having the question in mind on how these people can be helped and once I finished my school I wanted to continue to study medicine at university but due to   a limited number of students who were allowed to take the faculty and also in our country the education system was still reoganising after the tragetic genocide of 1994,so far I got a chance to register in the department of physiotherapy.

My dream was to study in medical field and to go back in my country to see how I can help people with disability either by treatment or making advocacy as our professional was still ignored by many.I have had opportunities to make my clinical practice in one of existing Rehabilitation center and found out that as a physiotherapist I can do a lot to help people with disability.I had an idea to make a small census in the small village out of Kigali city and have found that they were many children with disability who are left inside the houses without any treatment and their parents were not aware of how and what can be done. Since then I took a decision to create a small community center and start to help vulnerable and disabled children.With the help of a volunteer Maria,an occupational therapist I  started the community center (HDVC:Help for Disabled and Vulnerable Children)in June 2009.The main goal was and will still to raise the awareness in the community and help vulnerable and disabled children to reach a certain level of their independence by offering services needed  manly physiotherapy, special needs education, occupational therapy and  help them to get access to other services such as medical and surgery in case of required. Since the beginning of my dream at HDVC am working as a physiotherapist and the same time as a coordinator for all activities going on. I have had opportunities to work with volunteers who are mainly physiotherapists and together we are heading to gain more improvement to the lives of disabled and vulnerable  children. The center involves the community participation as our aim is to include the family in the plan of treatment towards their children. The center relies on peoples generosity and participation as since I have started. Continuing my dream, I wish to see the children with disability attending a certain level of autonomy, being able to learn from their abilities and that the community getting more involved to help them. Wishing to call upon all who are willing to help vulnerable and disabled children that the doors are open

Laura Boller-Hoffecker

Date of birth: 27.03.1994

Profession / current occpuation:

  • certified physiotherapist
  • alternative practitioner
  • employee in a practice in Cologne – focus: psychomotor impaired children at an integrative primary school

Lea Schmidt

Date of birth: 14.04.1995

Profession / current occupation:

  • certified physiotherapist,
  • student of human medicine, University of Cologne since april 2018
  • continues to work hourly as physiotherapist

Katja Jubelius

Date of birth: 05.07.1992

Profession / current occupation:

  • certified physiotherapist
  • employee in a practice in Cologne – focus: psychosomatics

To us it seems unbelievable how the project has grown during the last years. It began as an adventurous stay abroad but quickly turned into a matter of our hearts. We're so proud of what we achieved so far and we're looking forward to a long-term collaboration with Christine and the HDVC.