Sylvia was left on Rhinah's doorstep, but nobody is exactly sure how or why. Nonetheless, Rhinah cared for the newborn as if she was her own. Meanwhile, the Rwandan officials searched for her birth parents, to no avail. Unfortunately, the officials insisted that Sylvia would have to be turned over to an orphanage. Reluctantly, Rhinah complied.
Rhinah visited Sylvia as often as she could and tried to be a stabilizing force in Rhinah's fragile life. Six and a half years later, Hope and Homes for Children worked with the Rwandan government to start the process of closing orphanages and placing children with families. When it came time to find a home for Sylvia, Rhinah raised her hand unequivocally. "She is my own child", Rhinah declared.
Now Sylvia is "an affectionate, sociable little girl who has settled into the family very well". And Rhinah has applied to formally adopt her.
To read the whole story about Rhinah and Sylvia's reunion, please click here.
Hope and Homes for Children was the creation of two extraordinary individuals who believed that every child had the right to grow up in a loving family. Today, the organisation that Mark and Caroline Cook started at their kitchen table in Wiltshire in 1994, is at the forefront of a growing global movement to eliminate the institutional care of children.