Last February, we announced the launch of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund and the winners of the first Call for Proposals for the Student Grants Program. The Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund is the first fund in Burundi to provide development funding directly to students for their own development ideas and projects. The launch of the fund and the announcement of the grant recipients took place at a Hope Africa University graduation ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011.
In response to the Call for Proposals, we received ten proposals and the African Governing Committee of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund selected two of the projects for funding. The two proposals that were selected stood out because they would benefit the proposal submitters, three recent graduates of Hope Africa University, and, at the same time, share and extend the development and benefits to many other people in need. The Student Grants Program has gotten off to a great start with the funding and implementation of two exciting development projects: Pig Farming at Muyebe and Tailoring for Women at Nyanza-lac.
Pig Farming at Muyebe, Project Managers: Eddyne Irankunda and Evelyne Kanyana
In addition to providing experience and benefits to the Project Managers, the project was designed to improve the lives of local people at Muyebe by creating jobs, providing income, raising pigs, producing meat, producing fertilizer and distributing pigs and fertilizer. Working with local leaders, the participatory project is aimed at helping the local people at Muyebe and, especially, five of the poorest families of the Muyebe community. Some of the pigs will be sold, some will be kept to produce more pigs and some will be given to poor families. Already, some of the fertilizer is being sold at low prices and some is being given to poor families.
Thanks to Rev. Gregoire Ndayongeje, the District Superintendent of the Free Methodist Church, the use of church property was temporarily donated for the pig pens at Muyebe. Drawing from the grant, workers were employed to build the pig pens, a man was hired to look after the pigs and a local woman was hired to oversee the local project activities.
Once the pig pens were constructed, three pigs were purchased; two females and one male, and the pigs began to do what pigs do. This month, I received the good news that the project is developing and producing as expected; that is, one of the pigs has produced six new little piglets.
The pig farm development project will continue to provide jobs and income and continue to produce pigs and fertilizer. In the near future, more piglets are expected. By the end of the first project year, we expect to have 16 pigs; five will be sold to generate income, six will be kept to sustain the pig farm and five of the pigs will be given to five of the poorest families of the Muyebe community. Long after the first project year, the pig farm is expected to continue to contribute to increasing agricultural and farming production and improving the standard of living for a number of the local people and the needy members of Muyebe.
Tailoring for Women at Nyanza-lac, Project Manager Christine Kamirameya
The project was designed to support the Project Manager to empower 25 needy women of the Nyanza-lac with new skills and, thereby, transform their lives by purchasing sewing machines, purchasing sewing materials, hiring trainers, providing training and developing sewing skills. The project aims at producing a number of products and developing a market for the products and the participatory project uses discussion to share challenges, discuss solutions and develop improved life skills.
As soon as the project received its funding, the Project Manager bought three sewing machines, cloth, needles, thread, lubricant, other accessories and some furniture, including tables, chairs and two big boxes for materials. The project is associated with the Free Methodist Church at Nyanza-lac. After the purchases were made, the project was launched by organizing a presentation of the equipment and materials to all of the 25 women targeted by the project, all of the women Church leaders from the parish to the district level, all of the parish lay leaders and the Church Pastor and the District Superintendent. During the presentation, the Project Manager described the project and an agreement was signed as a social contract for the local community.
The project serves 25 women of the Nyanza-lac commune. The women are poor housewives; some of whom are illiterate and widowed. Five of the women are employed fulltime making clothes and teaching the other women to sew. Fifteen work part-time selling clothes at public markets, sweeping floors at the sewing shop and taking lessons on sewing.
The products have included short trousers, shirts and robes for primary students and skirts for younger women. The project is working on developing and strengthening the market for the products. Soon the project will produce trousers, shirts and robes for secondary students and blouses and skirts for older women. The project plans to produce trousers and shirts and suits for young and older men.
The sewing machines are an import asset that will continue to be useful for skills development and clothes production long into the future. The project will continue to produce products, sewing skills, training, employment and income. By providing sewing equipment and training and working with 25 women, the project will empower women to work cooperatively to make money, help the women buy food and clothes, assist the women in sending their children to school, paying for medical treatment and, thereby, becoming more independent and self-sufficient. The project will be sustained by the use of the sewing machines, the sale of products and contributions from the women in the group and the community.
Project Monitor and Reporter
After the selection of projects and at the suggestion of African Governing Committee, the North American Governing Committee approved funds to employ a person to monitor the implementation of the projects and report on the progress. Bishop Buconyori hired Felicien Bukuru as the Monitor and Reporter. Felicien is a graduate of Hope Africa University and he is supporting the Student Grant Program by making field visits to the projects and reporting on the progress, developments and outcomes.
Another Call for Proposals
In the very near future, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund is planning to announce another Call for Proposals for the Student Grants Program. We are hoping to provide support for more development projects proposed by students and/or recent graduates of Hope Africa University. In January, John McCready will return to Burundi to teach a course at Hope Africa University and work with the African Governing Committee to select any new development projects we are able to support.
First Call for Donations
From the progress described above, you can see that a great deal can be done to provide very practical development experience and benefits for students and recent graduates and the needy people they serve. Yes, a lot can be done to improve lives through sustainable development projects. A $1,500.00 development grant goes a long way in Burundi; it is a real investment in the lives and futures of real people. We have just celebrated Thanksgiving, a time to count our blessings, and Christmas, a time to give to others, is just around the corner. During this year’s Christmas gift giving, if you are able, please consider making a donation to the Student Grants Program of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund.
To ensure that Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund is able to continue to support Hope Africa University students and recent graduates to implement capacity building, development projects, we are making this first Call for Donations. With a donation of $1,500.00, you can sponsor a full development project. For $500.00 you can sponsor a “share” of a development project and with any gift, large or small, you will be a very important contributor to improving the lives of students and recent graduates of Hope Africa University and the very needy people in Burundian communities. Your donation is tax deductable and every dollar you give will be spent entirely on supporting development projects rather than administration.
Please use one of the links below to download and print the appropriate donation form.