We are pleased to post another Newsletter, highlighting some of our development activities. This Newsletter provides information and photographs on the following.
- Our Program Coordinator
- Two Project Managers’ Meetings
- The Satisfactory Reporting Rewards Program
- The Small Additional Grants Program
- Two Project Progress Reports with Photographs
Louise NTIRANIGIRA is in her third year of serving as our part-time Program Coordinator for the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund. Louise was the top student among the first graduates of the Hope Africa University’s Community Development Master’s Program. Louise also works as Program Manager for the National Council of Churches of Burundi.
Louise has been quite busy this year. She has contributed to monitoring reporting, developing proposals, evaluating proposals, distributing money, monitoring money usage and organizing, conducting and reporting on two Project Managers’ Meetings. Thank you Louise.
International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day I wrote to Louise.
Louise, It is a bit late to mention it to you and all of our other women but today is International Women’s Day. Hope you celebrate and enjoy! John
Louise wrote back quickly.
Thanks. We celebrated the whole day reflecting on the place and work of women in the development of the country (bolding added). Let me send some pictures of the ladies today. Along with my colleagues at work, we joined ceremonies organised by the Ministry of Gender.
Perhaps next year we can do better; we can prompt our Project Managers to work with their beneficiaries, mainly women, and encourage them to recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day.
Project Managers’ Meetings
As Program Coordinator, Louise has organized two Project Managers’ Meetings this year. The first meeting was spent reviewing the reporting situation for 2020 and developing proposals for small grants.
Two years ago, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund introduced two incentive programs; the Satisfactory Reporting Rewards Program and the Small Additional Grants Program. Both programs are designed as incentives for the Project Managers to report satisfactorily throughout each calendar year.
Each Project Manager who submits at least three satisfactory progress reports with action photographs within the previous year is entitled to a Satisfactory Reporting Reward. For 2020, the Reward amount was the Burundian franc equivalent of $30.00 USD.
Each project Association with a Project Manager who submitted at least three satisfactory reports within the previous year is eligible for a Small Additional Grant. For 2020, the Grant amount was the Burundian franc equivalent of $100.00 USD.
The second meeting was spent distributing the Satisfactory Reporting Rewards and the Small Additional Grants. Not surprisingly, all of the Project Managers who were eligible for a Satisfactory Reporting Reward were in attendance. Likewise, there was representation for all of the projects that were eligible and receiving Small Additional Grants. Two of our project locations; Isale and Kabezi, have original development projects that have spawned additional extension projects with additional associations. Sadly, the two project locations no longer have an active Project Manager, so Louise, our Program Coordinator, works with the two locations which are also entitled to develop a proposal and receive a Small Additional Grant.
As Louise’s great idea and for the first time, beneficiaries attended a Project Managers’ Meeting. Yes, the two multi-project, multi-association locations were represented by a President of one of the Associations (see the woman in red and another in pink).
During the meeting, money was distributed and receipts were signed as follows.
- Audace MPAWENIMANA (Batwa); Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Audace MPAWENIMANA; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Barthelemy MINANI (Batwa); Satisfactory Reporting Reward
- Barthelemy MINANI; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Christine KAMIRAMEYA; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Desire NSENGIYUMAVA; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Dieudonne IRAMBONA; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Epithace NDUWAYO; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Juvenal HAVYARIMANA; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- Prosper NIYONGERE; Satisfactory Reporting Reward and Small Additional Grant
- ISALE: Adeline NDAYISABA; Small Additional Grant
- KABEZI: Josephine NIVYONYENE; Small Additional Grant
Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, this year’s two Project Managers’ Meetings were the first ones I did not attend. Although I would have loved to be able to attend the meetings, I found myself amused by guessing that the meetings were very likely conducted in Kirundi instead of the usual English. Do you think I need to ask?
PROJECT PROGRESS REPORTS
- Supporting Vulnerable Women of Rubirizi, Mutimbuzi by Cultivation Crops and Breeding Goats, Project Manager: Viola NSHEMEZIMANA
This is a new development project that was briefly announced in our last Newsletter. The implementation of project has begun and we already have some progress to report. The Project Manager is Viola NSHEMEZIMANA who holds a Master’s Degree in Community Development from Hope Africa University and who works in Human Resources for Hope Africa University.
Rubirizi is one of the zones of Mutimbuzi Commune, Bujumbura Rural Province. Many women in this area live under difficult conditions related to a lack of land ownership. Due to the serious economic constraints, women often find it exceedingly difficult to meet the basic needs of their families. The purposes of the project include reducing poverty and empowering women by developing an association, cultivating rice, breeding goats, working in other farmers’ fields and setting-up their own microfinancing system. As a capacity development project, the Association is expected to become self- supporting, self-governing, self-sustaining and long-lasting.
Developing an Association
The Project Manager, Viola, has recruited 6 vulnerable women who already have agreed to work together in an Association named DUFASHANYE, literally meaning let us help each other.
Although all of the members will be involved in decision-making, the Association members have elected a President, Secretary and Treasurer.
When the Project Manager received the first instalment of the grant money and before the money was deposited for safe-keeping, Viola presented the money to the Association members for transparency, verification and credibility purposes. Viola presented all of the money to the beneficiaries to count and verify the total.
Guided by the Project Manager, the Association members rented a field for one season of rice for cultivation. The rice field is 110 meters by 10 meters. Women in the Association will be in charge of preparing the land, preparing the nurseries, planting the seedlings, weeding the field and harvesting the rice.
The beneficiaries have already completed the preparation of the rice field and preparation of the nursery and they have the resources to support the remaining rice cultivation activities. When the rice is harvested, 30% of the rice will be shared equally among the women and the remaining 70% will be sold so the Association can become self-supporting for ongoing rice cultivation.
The project has just received the second installment of money. Before the first harvest, some of the money is needed to rent the rice field for a second growing season and much of the rest of the money wlll be used to buy six female goats. Concerning the breeding of goats, each member will care for one of the female goats. When the goat has its first kid, the woman will own the kid and its offspring. However, the first goat; the mother goat, and its next generations will belong to the Association.
- Making Bricks and Cultivating Rice in Mugaruro Quarter, Buterere Commune, Project Manager: Audace MPAWENIMANA
Audace, the volunteer Project Manager for the past seven years, holds two degrees from Hope Africa University and works as a Director of Development for the Free Methodist Church of Burundi.
The project began in 2014 and the project Association has 12 Batwa members (9 women and 3 men). The Association started with making bricks and added cultivating rice in 2016. In October 2020, members of the Association grew rice. The photographs below show the story of rice cultivation.
After the planting phase, members of the Association are responsible for weeding and fertilizing. They make sure they control the water flow to ensure the rice plants receive enough of the much-needed water. The picture below shows members following-up with the care of the field of rice.
Because the work of harvesting requires a lot of energy, women involve their sons or husbands in the packaging the rice.
After the packing, the raw rice is taken to a small enterprise to dry the grains; thereafter, the rice is ground.
The Association harvested 9 sacks of raw rice. When dry, the Association was expecting to have 650 kilograms of rice.
Distribution of Harvest
About half of the rice is shared equally among the members, some 2 to 5 kilograms are kept for seeds to ensure the continuation of rice cultivation, and about half of the rice harvest is sold and the money is kept on the Association’s account for supporting the costs of the next rice cultivation season.
We (Mariam and Dorothee) are proud today because we have a family. We used to be lonely. Our daily activity was to pick waste food in the rubbish hole. Today we are proud of the teaching we received on the benefits of working together, fighting malnutrition and improving the hygiene and education of our children. With the Haley McCready and Outreach and Development Fund, we are capable to get things we were not able to have before like fertilizer and seeds. We are proud of the start-up funding we received.