Even in these uncertain times which have delayed our communications, we have some good news about our development work in Burundi. This newsletter provides an update on our Call for Proposals 2020 and brief good news reports on our four development projects that received grants as a result of our Call for Proposals 2019.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT NEWS
Call for Proposals
Our Call for Proposals 2020 produced 11 applications for development grants. All of the project proposals were carefully reviewed by the Burundi Advisory Committee. Three of the proposals are still under consideration but we are not sure when we will be able to continue our evaluation by having interviews with the three would-be project managers.
As you might remember, our Call for Proposal 2019 resulted in four agriculture development projects receiving development start-up grants.
- Supporting and Sustaining the Livelihood of Widows and Orphans at Rubirizi, Project Manager: Barthelemy MINANI
- Pigs Husbandry, Potatoes and Cabbage Plants in Kizunga Colline in Nyabiraba Commune, Project Manager Désiré NSENGIYUMVA
- Supporting Widows and Divorced Women in Breeding Goats and Cultivating Rice at Musenyi in Mpanda Commune, Project Manager: Epithace NDUWAYO
- Breeding Pigs and Raising Sweet Potatoes for Widows from Nyabiraba Commune, Raro Hill, Bujumbura Province, Project Manager: Juvenal HAVYARIMANA
Supporting and Sustaining the Livelihood of Widows and Orphans at Rubirizi, Project Manager: Barthelemy MINANI
The beneficiaries, 15 vulnerable women, are organized into an association called BUZIMA BWIZA, meaning good life to improve living conditions. The association has officers and holds weekly meetings of the members to discuss the business of the development project. The project is involved in animal husbandry, crop cultivation and microfinancing.
At the beginning of the project, the project grant money was used to purchase goats. Each of the 15 women was given a female goat.
The goats have produced 9 baby goats and more kids are expected; the beneficiaries started with 15 goats and now they have a total of 24 goats.
The grant money was used to rent fields for cultivating crops. All of the association members are expected to work in the fields on crop cultivation. Some of the harvest must be sold to ensure the development activities can continue (self-support), some of the crop is retained for seed and some of the havest is distributed to the beneficiaries and their families. At first, the women planted lenga lenga (amaranth), maize (corn) and soya beans and now they are cultivating rice which is more lucrative.
In Burundi, it is difficult for vulnerable people to obtain a loan from a financial organization. At each of the weekly meetings, the association members contribute a small amount of money to make small loans available to the beneficiaries. The loans are provided for income-generating activities and family needs. The members must pay back the loans with a small amount of interest.
One of the beneficiaries made the following comments about how the development project is helping her.
I never owned a goat but today I have two goats. The future will be bright. Since my young age, I wished to have a goat but this could not happen because of my low status in the community. Today I thank the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund for the support.
Pigs Husbandry, Potatoes and Cabbage Plants in Kizunga Colline in Nyabiraba Commune, Project Manager Désiré NSENGIYUMVA
The association is comprised of 12 women. The association has officers; a president, vice president and treasurer. The president organizes monthly meetings for the members to discuss the plans and activities for the association. This coming together helps the association to grow stronger, build cohesion among its members and develop ownership of the project. By organizing themselves, the association members aim at the development principles of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund; self-support, self-management and self-governance.
The development project began with 6 pigs that are kept by 6 members of the association. The women were full of joy when one pig gave birth to 6 piglets and, at the same time, another pig was expected to have piglets. Once there are enough piglets, each member will be given a piglet for her family and the rest of the pigs will belong to the association. By the association having pigs, the development project’s self-support and continuation will be strengthened.
The association began with two fields of cabbage. When the cabbage was harvested, some was shared with the beneficiaries and their families. The rest of the harvest was sold and, thereby, the association managed to generate 550,000 BIF (more than the equivalent of $200.00 USD). This money is kept in the account of the association. For the second cultivation season, the project rented a piece of land to cultivate white potatoes. The beneficiaries prepared the land and planted potatoes. The beneficiaries are responsible for all the activities pertaining to the growth of the potatoes; preparing the land, weeding, watering and harvesting.
The association members make small monthly contributions of money to the association. The money is used to provide loans to the members who have a family need or want to start a small income-generating business. The loans are paid back with a small amount of interest.
Supporting Widows and Divorced Women in Breeding Goats and Cultivating Rice at Musenyi in Mpanda Commune, Project Manager: Epithace NDUWAYO
With help from the Colline Chief, the Project Manager identified vulnerable women and potential beneficiaries. Several meetings were held to explain the project, the activities and the principles of the project. Fifteen (15) vulnerable women accepted and signed an agreement to work with and for the association. The association members elected the officers; a president, treasurer and secretary. All association members agreed to meet every Friday to discuss the plans and activities for the association.
The association; the “Future Is in Our Hands,” values people and is very committed to poor vulnerable women, especially widows and divorced women. At the beginning, this association purchased 15 female goats and distributed them to the 15 women with the conviction that each goat will get at least one baby goat every 6 months or so. Accordingly, the 15 goats got busy and soon had 13 baby goats so the members has a total of at least 28 goats.
The project began by renting a field for cultivating rice. The association members waited for rain and, when the rain arrived, prepared the seeds in a nursery and prepared the soil in the rice field. All of the members participated in planting, weeding, fertilizing and they will participate in harvesting which is expected this month. Through the little contributions of money and activities that generate income, the beneficiaries managed to rent a second field for maize (corn) and peanuts. The association members prepared the soil, purchased seeds and planted maize and peanuts.
All the beneficiaries meet once every week for the common work of the association and they contribute 500 BIF each. For security and transparency purposes, the association opened and uses its own bank account. The contributions are meaningful because they help the beneficiaries identify the committed members, and allow the association members to have small loans that must be repaid with a small amount of monthly interest.
Breeding Pigs and Raising Sweet Potatoes for Widows from Nyabiraba Commune, Raro Hill, Bujumbura Province, Project Manager: Juvenal HAVYARIMANA
The association (named “MUKENYEZI TERIMBERE” and means “Woman Go Forward”) consists of widows; 15 vulnerable women who agreed to work together to tackle poverty in their families and improve their living conditions. All members are active in the association. The association has elected officers. Twice a month, the association holds meetings with all members to discuss and make decisions about the project’s business and activities.
The project started with 5 pigs but, unfortunately, one was killed by lightening. The 4 remaining pigs belong to the association and the pigs are kept in the association’s pens. The association members organized themselves to feed and care for the pigs. When the pigs have piglets, each member will be given her own female piglet to keep at her home. The next generations will be the property of the association and will be sold to provide income support for the association and its continuation.
The association members decided to begin by cultivating onions. The project began by renting two fields and developing a nursery and planting onions. All of the members are active in the crop cultivation activities; soil preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting. The association shares the harvests with its members and sells the rest. The money generated from the crops is kept in the association’s bank account and used to support additional crop cultivation (self-support).
The association has microfinancing activities. A monthly fee of 600 BIF (100 for social assistance and 500 for microfinancing) is being paid by each member. The accumulating money will be used for providing social assistance for members in need and loans to members for income-generation activities. The loan money will be repaid with interest after three months and will be returned to the association’s bank account to be available for ongoing social assistance, loans and support for project activities.