Year in School: Primary, Level 4
Favorite Sport: Football (soccer)
Nickname: “The Bulldog”
Nizeyimana means “I am trusting God”
Siliac Nizeyimana was given the nickname “the bulldog” by several volunteers because he works hard to appear tough, strong, and stoic. After spending only a few minutes with him, however, it quickly becomes clear that he has one of the biggest hearts of anyone at Umuryango.
When you learn about his childhood, the reasons for his tough exterior become clear. When asked, he will tell you that his father died when he was very young. His father was a thief and was shot dead during robbery. His mother is still alive but she is a prostitute who is barely at home. Before running to the streets, Siliac’s life at home was tough, but he prefers not to talk about it.
One day, Siliac decided to run away. He admits being scared, but says that he was “too hungry. I thought maybe I would find more food on the streets.” He didn’t tell anyone and took nothing but the clothes on his back. When he arrived, he began to beg for some money for food. “One good man gave me 500 francs, and I went to a restaurant to get something to eat.” Life wasn’t always so easy on the streets. There were lots of drugs and a lot of fighting. He slept on the cement, and often, he went days without food. He lived this way for many years.
Siliac has been living at Umuryango for two years now and is very happy there: “They give me all my meals, a place to sleep, pay my school fees and buy me nice clothes.” He is currently in level three of primary school and loves English class.
When he grows up, Siliac wants to become either a doctor or a police man, because “doctors help look after sick people and police men make the country safe.” In his free time, Siliac enjoys playing football (soccer) with the other boys.