ACA was founded and established in 2006 (Charity # 04/2012) to strengthen the work of early childhood development as well as youth related activities that promote their integration and engagement with the society at large. In its early organization it was set up as a welfare association and with increasing involvement and activities with vulnerable children and caretakers evolved to an NGO. The establishment was informed by a number of issues and challenges that faced destitute children and youth in Kigali.
Appreciatively, the support extended by the Prisons Fellowship in Kigali to ACA cannot be understated whereby physical premises were provided for the ACA secretariat and project activities. It comprises of a self contained bungalow with an external kitchen converted to administrative and logistics offices, kitchen, playground, dining area and charity alms storage for materials donated to the children in the ACA programme. Through it children have had a platform for both nutritional and spiritual nourishment and the numbers have grown over the years due to this great alliance. There is a marked demand expressed for this facility to be extended to more children but the limitations in resources as well as space, stand in the way of this at the desired pace.
Given the unique needs and context of vulnerability of the children and youth, who exhibit diverse complexities that require delicate handling as well as nurturing for effective integration into the society there is need to scale up the ACA initiatives and transition into a facility that is bigger and can comprehensively address these issues. Further, being in premises that is not owned by ACA limits any structural developments that can enrich the support extended to the children.
The ACA Youth centre is a platform where the children and youth can be nurtured psycho-socially with the presence of counselors and community social service workers and volunteers who enable them to draw out their creative strengths and gifting towards enabling them to be balanced in spite of their individual complexes and trauma growing up.
Through sport, life skills training, spiritual coaching, counseling sessions, art and entertainment they will be enabled to express themselves positively and to adapt coping mechanisms that are not self defeating but empowering.