Cary was only seven when her family left her in a remote orphanage for children with disabilities in Rwanda. She’s 15 years old now and she is still there.

Cary is a bright, articulate girl who loves learning and football. She hates the orphanage. “No one cares for me here” she told us. Cary shares a cramped dormitory with boys as well as girls. Many of the other children have severe mental as well as physical disabilities but they have only a handful of untrained staff to care for them.

Cary has spent half her childhood stranded in this silent, loveless place. She has nothing and no one to call her own. “I want to be at home and be part of a family” she says. “I don’t want to live in silence anymore”. Cary is so desperate to leave the orphanage that she recently went on hunger strike. It did no good. She still begins and ends every day the same way: alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way - for Cary or the hundreds of thousands of other children growing up in silence in orphanages across Africa.

Our work in Rwanda and Uganda shows that all children, whatever their needs, can lead fulfilling lives within the love and protection of a family.


Chloe is a tiny little girl who looks as if she might be about two or three years old. In reality though, her true age is probably closer to ten. Read more