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DES MOINES, IOWA — A Des Moines family that escaped war-torn central Africa three years ago is again in search of salvation after two tragedies separated by months have left five children without their mother or father.

On Friday, 31-year-old Bazirake Kayira was killed in a single-vehicle accident on an icy road in Marshall County.  Rescuers pulled him from his car submerged in a frigid creek, but he died from his injuries a short time later.  His death comes four months after his wife, Zabayo Bigirimana, died while giving birth to a baby girl.  Now, she and her four big brothers – ages 2, 6, 8 and 10 – are left without parents and in need of a community’s help to keep them all together.

“They’ve been crying all the time, saying ‘we lost mother. We lost father.’ It’s very, very hard to the kids,” said the family’s pastor, Eugene Kiruhara, of Shalom Covenant Church in Urbandale.

The children are now in the care of their grandparents – but that situation is tenuous.  They immigrated to the United States themselves just a few years ago, don’t speak English and don’t have financial means.  Bazirake was their support system as well, leaving them with little-to-nothing.

Pastor Kiruhara is leading efforts to care for the entire family.  A GoFundMe account has been established to raise money for funeral costs for Bazirake and to begin caring for his children.  Donations have been pouring in, but there is no end to the need the family will have for years.  Pastor Kiruhara says the family needs a community to lift them up right now – and he’s confident it will happen.

“I’m not fearing. I’m believing in God, that’s why I’m asking people, please, please help these kids,” Pastor Kiruhara pleads, “Raise these kids, these kids, I know tomorrow they will be somebody. They will be helping others if they can get help from the community.”

Along with the GoFundMe account, the church is also accepting monetary donations for the family as well. Checks can be sent to:

Shalom Covenant Church
7605 Aurora Avenue
Urbandale, Iowa 50322