Lambert Rukeratabaro has turned 16, but is still only in the fourth year of primary school in Byumba, north of the capital, Kigali. Like thousands of Rwandan children who lost their parents in the 1994 genocide or more recently to HIV/AIDS, Rukeratabaro is an orphan.
"I have been told that my parents died during the genocide," he told IRIN. "Our life is hard. Our parents left us some land so when the harvest is good, we have enough food for lunch and supper." Rukeratabaro's two sisters work on other farms to earn some money. "My sisters had eye and skin problems and it was very difficult getting medication," he said.
"There are at least 2.8 million vulnerable children in the country," said Gisele Rutayisire, the officer in charge of social protection and governance for child rights with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Kigali. An estimated 100,000 Rwandan households are headed by children.
Rukeratabaro said his dream would be to continue his education but he lacks money and relies on well wishers for support with school materials.
"Although I am not very good at school I would like to study up to university so that I can assist my family," he said.