It is a pleasure to be reporting from beautiful Burundi. To get started with my new expanded role defined in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with Hope Africa University (see previous Bulletin), I am back in Burundi and working with the new Rector, Dr. Victor BARANTOTA, and others at Hope Africa University.
The good news to report in this Bulletin is that we have one new member of the African Committee and two new development projects from our Call for Proposals 2018.
ONE NEW AFRICAN COMMITTEE MEMBER
To guide fundraising and fund distribution, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund has a North American Committee. To guide project selection and monitoring in Burundi, we have an African Committee. The African Committee has been comprised of Bishop Déogratias NSHIMIYIMANA, Mme Susan Muchiri, Mme Jacqueline MUREKASENGE (on study leave) and John McCready.
Just before reviewing the project proposals produced from the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund, Student Grants Program’s Call for Proposals 2018, we invited Mme Esperance MPAWENIMANA to join the African Committee. We were delighted that she accepted and assisted in the review and selection of the proposals to receive a development grant. In the review of the short list of proposals, Mme Esperance suggested that we interview the would-be project managers. It was a great addition to our evaluation process.
Mme Esperance holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Social Work and Community Development at Hope Africa University. She has worked in Human Resources at Hope Africa University. She is currently working with some family business initiatives and she has developed and she manages her own very successful business of chickens and eggs. A couple of years ago, I was invited to see her very impressive, large-scale project of 10,000 chickens which are very productive in producing eggs.
TWO NEW DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
As usual, our Student Grants Program of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund announced and posted a Call for Proposals in December of 2017. We received 11 proposals in January 2018 and completed our review of the proposals in February. The African Committee recommended that two of the proposed projects receive grants and these two development projects have been approved for a grant, have received the first installment of money and are just getting started with the planned implementation. Now, we have provided development grants to a total of 18 separate development projects.
Breeding Goats and Cultivating Crops for Vulnerable Women from Mihigo Colline, Kayanza Province; Project Manager: Dieudonné IRAMBONA
Kayanza is a northern, overpopulated province that was devastated by civil war, resulting in many vulnerable families and widows. The goal of this project is to reduce poverty among vulnerable families through self-help and by distributing and breeding goats and cultivating crops. This capacity development project will recruit and organize 16 vulnerable women between the ages of 25 to 45 that agree to be active members the self-help association and participate in self-help and save and loan (SAL) training, animal husbandry and agriculture. The project is expected to become self-supporting and self-governing and spawn new self-sustaining and self-governing associations of 16 vulnerable women every six months.
Initially, the women will be provided with goats and pens. The goats are expected to provide much-needed fertilizer and will help make their plots more productive. In approximately six months from the time of receiving a goat, the goat will produce one or more kids and the first kid will be passed on to a woman in another association of 16 vulnerable women. After distributing the first kid, the next kids will belong to the woman.
In addition, the women will be assisted in the initial collective cultivation of crops, alternating beans, potatoes, wheat and other crops. To begin the agricultural activities that will become self-sustaining, the grant will be used to rent land and purchase seed. The women in the association will prepare the field, sow the selected seed, irrigate the field, care for the plants and harvest the crop. Some of the harvest will be shared among the members, some will be kept for seed but most of the harvest will be sold for income for the association. The first association of 16 women will assist the next association of 16 women to become involved in the collective cultivation of crops.
The project manager, Dieudonné IRAMBONA, holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Hope Africa University.
Dieudonné has held an administration position and a few short term research and data analysis assignments.
The project has been approved for the grant. The first installment has been distributed to the project manager. To monitor the project, Dieudonné, the project manager, has already purchased the activity recording books and pens to distribute to the 16 women. Now that the national referendum is over, the local officials will be available to assist Dieudonné in identifying and recruiting the beneficiaries.
Farming Potatoes and Breeding Goats in Bukirasazi Commune; Project Manager: Prosper NIYONGERE
Bukirasazi Commune in Gitega Province is inhabited by many landless widows and orphan girls. The primary target group for this project will be 15 landless women, widows and orphan girls, between 15 and 40 years of age and who are members of the FUPDD (Forces Unies des Partenaires pour le Development Durable) English Clubs in Bukirasazi Commune. The women and girls will be organized into a participatory, self-help association and agree to working collectively on the project aims and activities.
The purpose of this project is to improve the social-economic situation of the beneficiaries through collectively cultivating potatoes and distributing goats. The women will be assisted in renting land, preparing the soil, planting potatoes, fertilizing the plants and sharing and selling the harvest. The women will be given a goat with the understanding the first kid will be given to another woman and the next kids will belong to the beneficiary. The project will develop the capacity and independence of the women and girls by providing training in the production of potatoes, the care of goats, self-help, savings and loans and self-government. As the first association becomes successful in harvesting potatoes and breeding and distributing goats, the project will start another association of 15 landless women, assist the association in cultivating potatoes and breeding and distributing goats. The project is expected to produce a series of self-supporting, self-sustaining and self-governing associations that improve the social-economic situation of the landless female participants.
The project manager, Prosper NIYONGERE, is a student, studying in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Business Management at Hope Africa University.
The project was approved to receive a development grant. The first installment of money has already been provided to the project manager, Prosper NIYONGERE. The beneficiaries have been recruited to join the project association and the land has been rented for the collective cultivation of potatoes. As soon as the local officials declare that the goats at the market are healthy, Prosper and the beneficiaries will purchase the required goats.