Winnebago woman saving children in Rwanda after country shutters orphanages

WINNEBAGO (WREX) – Seven-thousand miles away from here, a Winnebago woman is changing lives. Tina Ngizwenayo formed a charity called “Hope for Tomorrow” in Rwanda. It saves babies and families from poverty, and in some cases, the brink of death.

“That’s how we started Hope for tomorrow, is seeing the babies that needed it,” said Tina.

Years ago, Tina left her hometown of Winnebago to start a path to a bigger purpose.

“I worked in Rwanda’s largest and oldest orphanage of over 700 children, and Rwanda closed down all of its orphanages,” she said.

She and her husband, Tony, knew they had to step in. Tina remembers a mother who had twins that was too malnourished to nurse them. The mother had two options; she could sell her babies or take them home to die. The mother ended up bringing the twins home, and the next day Hope for Tomorrow began. That was nearly three years ago, and since then Tina and Tony have taken in dozens of children and their family members. Today, they have 18 families.

“When they don’t even have food in the house but they get porridge, they say, praise God, because now we’ve got porridge. We are thankful to have these people. It’s amazing,” said Tony.

But it’s not just about getting them food. Hope for Tomorrow provides skills training and literacy classes to help mothers get on their own two feet. The organization runs solely on donations, many of which, have come straight from Winnebago.

“To see these girls trying on dresses and twirling around, and giggling because it’s the first dress they ever had, it was amazing,” said Tina.

The Winnebago graduate makes occasional visits back to town but Rwanda, she says, is where she’s meant to stay. And Hope for Tomorrow is meant to be her legacy.

“It’s supposed to be Hope for Tomorrow because they have no hope for tomorrow. Let’s make hope for tomorrow,” said Tony.

Because as long as there is a tomorrow, there is hope.

If you would like to donate to Hope for Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

Kristin Crowley

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor

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