At my own expense, as usual, I have just returned from another significant visit to Burundi. With the support of Mme Jacqueline Murekasenge, Head of the Social Work and Community Development Department, I once again taught my Community Needs Assessment course.
Following the exam, the students presented me with a nice statement, a card and two gifts.
Eight Development Projects
The Student Grants Program of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund provides grants to students and graduates of Hope Africa University. We held an information-sharing meeting with the project managers. I made onsite visits to a number of the eight development projects that have been funded by the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund.
Our real-life development experience in Burundi has helped us develop capacity among the African Governing Committee members, the project managers and the project beneficiares. The following paragraphs and photos provide descriptions and updates on the eight development projects that were funded from previous Calls for Proposals.
- Improving Food Security through Chickens at Karurama, Fidèle Niyoyita
This project is designed to provide training, employment, income, organic fertilizer and improved nutrition for 10 poor and displaced people. The beneficiaries include 8 widows and 2 orphans and the project activities include raising chickens, producing eggs, selling eggs, selling chickens, distributing fertilizer and generating other income producing activities such as vegetable cultivating, basket making and soap making.
The chickens have begun to produce eggs and the two orphans have begun selling the eggs.
The project manager was advised that there is not enough moisture in the soil for the anticipated vegetable cultivation, so the widows have planted maize (corn) instead. The widow are busy as a group taking care of the developing crop. With the anticipated income from eggs and corn, other activities such as basket making are expected begin.
- Development of Vegetable Culture for the Self-Financing of IAP Twubake, Anicet Nyandwi
This project uses a participatory, self-help approach to organize and train 10 poor widows and 7 poor orphans in the cultivation and sale of vegetables, the raising of rabbits and, thereby, create a bigger and better diet, ongoing jobs, income and an association.
The beneficiaries have been identified, an association formed and the executive committee has been elected. Training sessions have taken place, including an educational session on the role of planting trees to reduce erosion and produce firewood. Agricultural activities have started on the demonstration site, the planting of cabbage, and the yield will belong collectively to the beneficiaries.
Thirty-four rabbits have been distributed to 17 beneficiaries. The association members contribute 500 francs per month to the collective and the association has more than 42,000 francs. The project has distributed 170 grivellea trees which protect the soil, provide firewood and require less water than the usual eucalyptus trees.
There will soon be a meeting on the status of the association and another on the planting onions for the next season. There will be a training session on intercropping. The association plans to collectively buy two pigs, using the association’s money from the sale of cabbage.
- Farming Rice in Gihanga Commune, Ezechiel Manirakiza
This project provides training, employment and much-needed income for 16 jobless, hungry, poor people through the cultivation and sale of rice and, thereby, improves the quality of life of the target group members and the project manager.
The project has planted rice in two large fields. The first field has produced its rice and 12 large sacks of rice were harvested and sold. Soon, the first field will be replanted but this time an even better rice plant will be used. The second field of rice is nearing time for harvest.
- Improved Food Security at Kabezi, Marie Nadège Twagirayezu and Anicet Nyandwi
This well-conceived project is making very good progress. The project has distributed 20 goats and provided training on animal care, composting, organic fertilizing, growing beans, soya beans and maize (corn), crop diversification and building an association of 20 active members. The project has distributed 40 kg of beans, 40 kg of soya beans and 40 kg of maize.
The project has a sophisticated association that holds regular meetings. The association has already generated a significant amount of income that is kept in a box with two locks and the box and each key are kept by separate members. The money is used to provide small loans to association members for small income generating activities. The success and sophistication of project has resulted in a number of onsite visits and a couple of significant donations to the association’s money box.
The association will continue with its association meetings, capacity development activities and demonstration site cultivation. The association is planning on buying its own demonstration site, thereby, building collective equity and a continuing source of collective income. The first association will now assist the development of a second association of 20 members who agree to participate in the same development activities.
- Farming Goats at Gatwe, Jean Claude Ngendakumana
This project is working with six widows. It is teaching the women about nutrition, composting and using organic fertilizer. The project is assisting the women in planting crops on the collective demonstration site and in their own fields. The project manager has bought and distributed seeds and six female goats to the six widows and the women have planted the beans.
The goats are expected to produce kids and the six widows are expected to pass on one of the female kids to another woman who agrees to join the group. The proceeds of the collective demonstration site will be used to provide benefits for the association members.
The project aims to sustain itself by using the goats to recruit more women into associations; women who agree to participating in nutrition training sessions, composting, contributing to cultivation on the demonstration site, improving cultivation in their own fields and distributing a female goat to another woman.
- Welding Workshop at Buterere, Kilongo Banyakwa
This project purchased welding equipment and supplies and made and sold a number of windows and doors. The project trained two young, volunteer men to be welders.
After a pretty good start, the project did not have enough money to buy additional materials and entered a period of inactivity. With money from the project manager and a loan to the project manager, the project aims to get started again. The project needs to rent a location with electricity and employ a couple of welders and get back to welding, grinding and selling doors and windows, doing welding jobs and repairs and training young men to be welders.
- Tailoring for Women at Kinama (formerly Nyanza-lac), Christine Kamirameya
The sewing project began in Nyanza-lac but the project manager lives in the capital city, Bujumbura. The “long-distance” project management was not working and the project needed to be moved and restored. It took some time but the project manager did a great job of restoring the project in Bujumbura. A workshop was built, two additional sewing machines were purchased and the project was restored with two trainers and three poor women enrolled as trainees for life skills and sewing skills.
The three women have been trained to sew and the project has paid its rent and its watchman for past eighteen months. Recently, 23 bags were made, 11 were sold and eight new pieces of cloth were purchased in order to make and sell shirts. A number of items were made for people living in the surrounding neighborhood. There have been four life skills training sessions with the three trainees.
The project has been the beneficiary of some much needed equipment for cutting cloth and a very generous private donation to assist with renewing the contract with the Kinama Free Methodist Church and paying of the rent.
The project hopes to recruit a new sewing trainer and a new group of trainees. In addition, the project will be purchasing more material and supplies. The project manager is considering methods of restructuring the project to make it more productive.
- Pig Farming at Muyebe, Eddyne Irankunda and Evelyne Kanyana
This project was set up at Muyebe with the support of the local Free Methodist Church. The pig farming project lasted for nearly two years and was successful. The pig farming project provided valuable experience for the project managers and it produced jobs, manure and piglets. The project sold pigs and piglets and gave away 8 piglets. The project managers have been looking for a new development opportunity to invest the small amount of money that remains.
The project managers have decided to start a small microfinance project with the money that was left over from the pig project. Very soon, the project managers will begin the new project by giving small loans to poor women of the Cibitoke Commune who need to start income generating activities.