A passionate group of people, focused on helping kids in Rwanda who can't help themselves.
Shelter Them-Batarure-Rwanda is a Christian Charitable National Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to helping orphans and vulnerable children in Rwanda receive the basics of life, including nutrition, shelter, education, healthcare, and emotional support, and to play a part in Rwanda’s bright future.
The story of how we started.
The organization was born in the hearts of twin sisters, Josephine and Jocelyne, who have lived in Canada since the late 1990's. During their first visit back to Rwanda in more than a decade, the girls visited a feeding program for street children at in Kimihurura-Kigali at a church service. This program was run by Jules. They were immediately struck by the unforgiving living conditions faced by these children and how much need was needed. After returning to Canada they reflected on their own journey and hardships they went through growing up as well as others they’d witnessed in Rwanda. In 2005 they were driven to act and began mobilizing their friends and community members to begin Shelter Them Poverty Relief and come along side Jules and his team to help them reach out to those desperate street kids that needed a helping hand.
10+ years later, Shelter Them is an established and registered charitable organization in both Canada and the USA run by volunteers, with a small but amazing team of employees operating Rwanda. We provide ongoing support for 70+ orphans and vulnerable children where they are given everything to make a bright future for themselves. Also we have supporting programs that provide healthcare to families, skills training to promote self-sufficiency and employment to women and a farming project. Most recently, Shelter Them has been granted 5 acres of land by the Rwandan government to construct a community and training facility for orphans, vulnerable children, and families, and to facilitate opportunities for long term self-sufficiency.
Jules - Rwandan Team Leader
Jules Higiro is passionate about improving the lives of disadvantaged Rwandans. As the Country Director for Shelter Them Batarure – Rwanda, Jules works with orphans, abandoned kids, kids with disabilities, children living in extreme poverty, street children, children with HIV/AIDS or living with parents with HIV/AIDS and is involved in community development.
Born in Tanzania in of Rwandan parents who had fled Rwanda due to the social unrest and persecution of the late 60’s and early ‘70’s. He lived with his family in Burundi refugee camps from a young age until he joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front army led by current Rwandan president Paul Kagame. Jules participated in the liberation of Rwanda that stopped the genocide of Tutsis in 1994. Jules served in the Rwandan Defence Forces for ten years after the liberation.
Jules has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (BBA) from the Kigali Institute of Science, Management and Technology (KIST). After his military service, he became a civil servant in the Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Program. Jules also worked with the United Nations from 2007 to 2012, first with peacekeeping operations in Sudan later as a law enforcement advisor with the United Nations Development Programme in South Sudan. A devout Christian, Jules volunteered to lead the Prison Fellowship Outreach Ministry at the Malakal Central Prison in South Sudan. He has also been a member of The Strongest Oak Foundation’s Rwandan Advisory Board since 2012. Strongest Oak is an international non-profit organization formed to support African schools and communities.
Jules’ passion for helping vulnerable people is rooted in his Christian faith and his experiences as a refugee, a soldier, and an aid worker with the United Nations. He has seen the violence and the poverty, which has instilled a passion within him to help others. His passion is to serve people in every way possible and help them obtain their dreams and maximize their potential.
Gloria Nyiramariza - Administration Manager
Gloria manages the general administration of the organization. She is also responsible for the financial aspects, such as general ledger management, account reconciliations, payroll, financial and governmental reporting and monthly and annual cost reporting.
Yannick Ndayishimiye - Kigali Family Coordinator
Yannick works with families and individuals to help those in need. His role is to coordinate housing, healthcare, education, counseling and rehabilitative services as needed.
Sylvine Mukagatele - Bugasera Community Support Manager
Sylvine's primary role is to support the families and children under the Shelter Them programs to live as independently as possible. She is responsible for the management and implementation of Shelter Them programs and the monitoring of children and families to ensure they are receiving the appropriate aid. Sylvine is a degreed social worker who works directly with Shelter Them sponsored children and families to provide counseling and training and other assistance as needed.