What We Do
Jessie's Place provides loving support for special children, adults, and families in Rwanda, Africa. Located in the very low-income rural community of Gisenyi, Jessie's Place offers programs and services for community members, especially those living with physical and mental challenges or whom have challenged children. We provide services to 250 individuals per week, for a total of over 1,000 services per month.
Jessie's Place Center for Children and Adults with Special Needs
The center serves young adults with special needs who were orphaned during the Rwandan genocide, as well as challenged children from the local community. Through stretching, massage, movement, yoga, and exercise, the children gain improvement in movement, as well as increased self-sufficiency. Life skills, as well as music and art therapy, are part of the program.
The women's co-op is a group of mothers (most of them single mothers), all of whom have at least one child with a mental or physical disability. There are currently 85 women registered; they meet in a weekly support group. The mothers are taught parenting skills, as well as massage and stretching exercises so they may assist their children in gaining mobility. In order to increase self-sufficiency, the women are taught basket and craft-making. Jessie's Place sponsors an agricultural program in the form of a fruit and vegetable garden. This has improved nutrition in the community and helps the women generate income.
Extra Care: Jessie's Place focuses on our primary missions of the center and the women's co-op. However, when funds are available, or if a donor requests it, our clients often gain assistance in other areas. Examples include: beds for the elderly (so they need not sleep on the ground), food and medication for hospitalized clients, wheelchairs, blankets, and assistance with university fees for some employees.