In Progress: Documenting Jean D’Ark’s Family

Mukarutembesa Jean D’ Ark, 49, is a single mother for four children. When she gave birth to her now four-year-old twins, her husband abandoned the family, leaving a kind stranger at the hospital to pay Jean D’Ark’s bill of roughly $7. Jean D’Ark’s family lives in the one-room house of a friend, not owning any land of her own to build a house on. Two of her children’s education is sponsored, while her twins are too young to begin school. All four attend Gardens for Health International’s Early Childhood Development Program, where they are fed once a day.

Twins Phina and Phiona are four-years-old, they should begin school in 2018 but Jean D’Ark is unsure if their fees will be sponsored, as her elder children’s fees are.

Ange, Jean D’Ark’s second eldest child, relaxes on the family’s one mattress in their home. Ange has her school fees sponsored.

Each of Jean D’Arks’s children has two sets of clothing and one pair of shoes. “Even though they don’t have many clothes, they at least wash whichever they own with soap.”

Elia, Jean D’Ark’s son, holds the only photo they own of Phina and Phiona as babies, taken on the day of their birth, the same day their father left them.

Phina leads her mother, Jean D’Ark, through a small bungalow that holds the Gardens for Health Early Childhood Development Program.

Rwanda, Week Two

We’re in the process of cleaning out all the rooms on the farm to maintain standards of hygiene.

Musave, the small town we drive through to get to our Ndera office.

Seed sorting our big batches of government-issued seeds into small packets to distribute to our partner families as agriculture training begins.

Driving home from work.

The sun sets early at 6pm here, a true 12 hours of light and darkness.

Twins Phine and Phiona on our farm. They LOVE playing with my camera, and I am putty in their hands.

Our Ndera farm is starting to thrive as rainy season brings much-needed rains.

Planting season means our staff expands to hiring short-term workers as the 5-acre farm needs many hands while the rainy season lasts.

A short video I made from a health training on hygiene as it relates to malnutrition in Shingiro, located in the northern region of Musanze.

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