In 2007, the Rector of Hope Africa University, Bishop Elie Buconyori, invited me to consider establishing a small fund to support students and graduates to be able to use their training and skills to help poor and vulnerable people in Facing African Realities. After some considerable planning and organizing, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund was set up and announced its first two development grants in 2011 at the Hope Africa University graduation.
To conduct its business, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund has a North American Advisory Committee for fundraising and fund distribution and an African Advisory Committee to select and monitor development projects.
Each year, we have a Call for Proposals. The announcement of the Call for Proposals is made in December and deadline for proposals/applications is in January. The Student Grants Program of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund has provided grants to 18 development projects.
Any student or graduate of Hope Africa University is eligible to submit a proposal of their own design. Most of our projects recruit a group of women who are organized into an association. The projects often involve raising animals (e.g., goats or pigs) and cultivating crops.
A few years ago, Hope Africa University started a Community Development Master’s Program; the only Community Development Master’s Program in Burundi. Last February, the Community Development Master’s Program had its first 9 graduates.
In support of the Community Development Master’s Program and its graduates, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund decided to have a Special Call for Proposals aimed at four graduates who have had limited practical work experience in community development.
The Special Call for Proposals produced three proposals that were carefully reviewed and evaluated by the African Advisory Committee. Interviews were held with the three would-be project managers. One of the proposals was accepted and recommended for funding. Two of the would-be project managers were asked to try to improve their proposed project and resubmit their proposals. Both would-be project managers resubmitted their revised proposals and one was accepted and recommended for a development project grant.
The Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund is pleased to have this opportunity to provide direct support to the new Community Development Master’s Program and two of its first 9 graduates.
This newsletter announces and introduces the two development projects that are going to be started very soon. Now, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund has provided grants to 20 development projects in Burundi.
- Supporting Poor and Vulnerable Women by Raising Pigs and Cultivating Crops at Kajaga in Mutimbuzi Commune: Project Manager, NINGEJEJE Aimé Fidèle
The Project Manager for this project is NINGEJEJE Aimé Fidèle. Aimé is one of the first graduates of Hope Africa University’s new Community Development Master’s Program. Aimé is currently working for Hope Africa University in the Office of the Academic Registrar. He will be a volunteer Project Manager for the long term.
This project has already recruited 10 jobless poor women with the assistance of local administrative personnel from Mutimbuzi Commune. The women will be organized into an association that will be called Turashoboye (“We Are Able”). The project will buy materials and pay for the construction of a central pig pen. Initially, the project will purchase two male and two female pigs. From the first sets of piglets, one of the female piglets will be distributed to each of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will be supported in building pig pens, caring for the pigs and developing a herd of pigs.
The project will rent one field for rice and two for beans and other crops. The beneficiaries will collectively prepare the fields, do the planting, apply the fertilizer, do the weeding and complete the harvest. Some of the harvests will be shared among the members, some will be kept for seed and the largest portion will be sold and proceeds will go to the association.
By working together in a highly participatory fashion, the project is expected to become self-supporting, self-managing and self-governing. In time, the project is expected to spawn another extension project of its own kind.
- Supporting Batwa Women in Breeding Goats and Cultivating Rice at Rubirizi in Mutimbuzi Commune: Project Manager, GAHUNGU Guillaume
The Project Manager for this project GAHUNGU Guillaume who holds three degrees from Hope Africa University; a Bachelor’s of Social Work and Community Development, a Master’s of Educational Leadership and a Master’s of Community Development. Guillaume is currently teaching part-time for Hope Africa University. He will be the long term volunteer Project Manager for this project.
The majority of Batwa, particularly the women, live in difficult conditions without land and in the greatest poverty. This project has recruited 30 women who will be organized into an association and sign an agreement to contribute to the association’s activities. The project and association are expected to become self-supporting, self-managing and self-governing.
The project will purchase one male goat and 8 female goats that will be placed with 8 women. As the female goats have kids, the female kids will be distributed to other women and the male kids will be sold and replaced with other female kids for distribution. The distribution system will ensure that each woman has her own goats and will produce enough goats to start a new project of Batwa women.
The project will rent 2 fields of about half a hectare. All the beneficiaries will collective prepare the soil, seed the nursery, plant the small plants, fertilize the plants, irrigate the fields and harvest the rice. Some of the rice will be kept for seed, some will be distributed among the members and most of the rice will be sold and the proceeds will go to the association.