Burundi is a small densely populated and land-locked country in central Africa. The Global Hunger Index names 19 countries with "alarming levels of hunger." Top of this list is Burundi with 73.4% of its population undernourished. The country also suffers from warfare, corruption and poor access to education.
MWUMBA is a desperately poor village with a population of 22,000 in northern Burundi not far from the border with Rwanda. The population lives on subsistence agriculture practiced on small family plots. FH is working with the community to help them lift themselves out of poverty in a sustainable way and to change the lives of its children forever.
Some elements of the community transformation plan that are being addressed include include:
- FH has leased land and set up 5 farming associations each with 20 adults. Some of the poorest members of the community typically without their own land have been targeted as beneficiaries. Javier Bukuru (picture above) is a member of an association. AT 64, he is a widower with 5 children. Before, as a casual labourer, he found it very hard to feed his family. He says:
"I thank God for the work FH is doing. They support us with training, seeds and fertilizers. My family now has enough food to reach the next harvest. I still have to work hard to make reserves and have a portion left for market but the first step is done."
- Learning and Savings groups have been established. The groups meet regularly and each member contributes to both a Loan and Social fund. This helps provide seed capital for members to establish small businesses or for emergency medical care.
- Education is vital in enabling the children to reach their God-given potential. Until 2014 several hills in the village did not have a primary school. This meant long walks, overcrowded schools and high dropout rates especially for girls. In partnership with the community and local government a plan to build a new school on Gihama Hill was completed.
- A water project has been completed to give community members access to water and address health and hygiene issues common in Mwumba.
FH's mission is to walk with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty. FH Burundi has started training Sunday school teachers to equip them for community ministry. These trainings will last about a whole year and gathers church representatives from Catholic churches, Anglican, Pentecost, and Methodist churches.