Our first Call for Proposals for the Student Grants Program of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund was posted in December of 2010. The first two grants were provided to three project managers, three female students of Hope Africa University. Our first two development projects have had their moments of success but they have also faced challenges. The two projects have been relocated and even been inactive for periods of time. However, our first project managers have preserved the precious project resources, persevered and are still, more than five years later, actively trying to keep the development projects alive and contributing to the development of indigenous people in Burundi.
- Tailoring for Women, (formerly, Tailoring for Women at Kinama and formerly, Tailoring for Womenn at Nyanza-lac; a project that was funded in 2011), Project Manager: Christine KAMIRAMEYA
The project manager for this project is a graduate and student at Hope Africa University.
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 new workshop was built, two additional sewing machines were purchased and the project was restored and poor women were enrolled for training. The women were trained in life skills and trained to sew. The project has made and sold bags, uniforms, shirts, skirts, custom-made outfits and cloth.
The project is dependent on having a tailor to train the women and lead the sewing. Tailors have been hired but after a period of time they go off to other more profitable activities. The political unrest in Bujumbura also had negative effects on the sewing project. The project activities were suspended and equipment safely stored, awaiting the establishment of a new workshop in safe community and the recruitment of a new tailor to lead the training and sewing operations.
Christine, the project manager, is in the process of building a sewing workshop on her own property. She is trying to recruit a tailor in order to restart the sewing, training and selling. Christine is trying to keep the development alive for the benefit of indigenous Burundian women and their families.
The Project Manager, Christine KAMIRAMEYA, submitted another project proposal and received another grant for another development project in 2014; Savings and Loans: Christian Initiative for Women’s Development in Gatumba. The project has been successful in organizing an association of 20 women, providing loans to all association members and permitting the start and maintenance of many income-generating businesses. With the money from the repayment of loans, the Savings and Loans project has started another association of 22 needy women; an extension project for distributing goats and growing crops.
The Project Manager, Christine KAMIRAMEYA, has been selected and appointed to a new position of Director of Mobilization and Community Development for the Free Methodist Church of Burundi.
- Micro-financing for Women (formerly, the Pig Farming at Muyebe; a project that was funded in 2011), Project Managers: Evelyne KANYANA and Eddyne IRANKUNDA
Evelyne and Eddyne, the project managers for this project, are both graduates of the Social Work and Community Development program at Hope Africa University.
The project started at Muyebe with the support of the local Free Methodist Church. The original 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.
It was determined that the project could not be sustained with pigs and so the pig farming was discontinued and the project managers began looking for a new development opportunity to invest the small amount of money that remained.
The project managers decided to start a small micro-finance project with the money that was left over from the pig project. The project managers planned to begin the new project by providing small loans to members of a small association of poor women of the Cibitoke Commune; women who needed to start income generating activities to better support their families. Unfortunately, Cibitoke Commune was one of the four areas in Bujumbura where protests and political unrest occurred. The project managers decided that they could not be successful in starting a new project in an unstable community.
While waiting for things to calm down, the project managers decided to buy a sheep. In September, the yew had a little lamb; now there are two sheep.
The project managers are in the midst of developing a group of women who will work together on micro-financing. Although more women will be recruited, the group has 6 members, including the two project managers. The main activities will be savings and loans. In August, the group members agreed to contribute 5,000 francs every month for 12 months before considering loans.
The project managers, the project and some of the project money are still active in the pursuit of development for indigenous people of Burundi. The project has experienced some challenges, has been inactive for a period of time but the efforts and hopes for development are still alive.
A friend of mine and a supporter and donor to the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund was recently helping a friend of his in considering some economical pens for pigs and sheep. He went to Google to search for some options for pens. In doing so, he noticed the pig pens below.
As my friend reviewed the photograph more closely, he noticed that at the bottom of the photo it identified the source as the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund, 2011. Yes, the photograph below was used on the internet to show an economical type of pig pen and it was a photo of a pig and pig pen that appeared in our Newsletter posted in 2011; a photo used to help describe our Pig Farming at Muyebe project.
Yes, we are all connected and we can all learn from each other.