Raju is a handsome, humble, funny boy, born in 2010. He lives with his grandmother in a busy and crowded 3 bedroom house with limited electricity in a place called Gitega. He lives with 5 siblings, 2 sisters and 3 brothers. One of his brothers is called Salimu who is also enrolled at Hope Shines.
Raju only has one living biological parent, his father. His father has HIV which creates a big challenge in his ability to work but he tries to do some part time jobs when he can that helps meet the basic needs of his family.
Before her passing in 2019, Raju’s mother was a past president of the Parent’s Committee at Hope Shines. She also served as one of the Center cooks, helping to support the after-school program for the kids.
The family faces daily challenges and one is food security due to setbacks from poverty.
The family often eats only one meal per day, but occasionally, they eat twice. The family struggles regularly to provide the basics needs and scholastic materials for their children but now Hope Shines is supporting 2 of the children, which relieves some of their burden. They also say that they feel blessed and lucky that one of 2 daughters replaced her mother as a cook at the center, which contributes to the overall family support.
Raju is currently a Primary level 3 student who enjoys learning at school and spending time with friends. In his free time, he likes to play football and enjoys reading books at the Hope Shines library. When he grows up he wants to become a teacher that can help others.