Noel Orphanage was by the roadside on the main route from Kigali to Gisenyi and the DRC border. A security guard lived by the gates, checking visitors in and out. A long drive led to the outer courtyard where children played or gathered for assemblies.

Madam Director’s quarters lay behind the courtyard beyond huge steel gates. This was also where staff and sometimes visitors joined her for meals – and the pet tortoise lived!

To the side of the orphanage entrance gates was a small shop and behind it lay a bakery.

“Memories are the architecture of our identity”