Someone asked us last week how the project was going. We said it felt a bit like watching your child take his first steps. All you can do is take your hands away and see what happens. Either the feet trip up and the nose hits the floor or they run like mad and the child collides into the nearest wall.
The description seemed apt for where we are with our project is at the moment. The children's house now has five youngsters living in it. A sixth, Peter, lost his mother when she was taken off to prison last month, so the lad comes down each day from a neighbour's to eat and wash. Eating is the priority and feeding a house-full of growing boys takes some doing.
A challenge we have come to understand is that the longer we keep subsidising the house, the longer the mamas in the project will sit back and let their children be fed. Which is where the restaurant and shop come in. They are slowly but surely making money each week which is being used to buy the food for the children. Slowly is very much the operative word though. Some weeks there is money, others there isn't.
Our objective since the early days of the project was always to create something that would allow the children and their families to continue feeding themselves after we were gone. That is almost within their grasp but like many other things in Rwanda, it takes a while, and often a while after that. Like the young toddler, all we can do now is stand back, which isn't the easiest thing to do.