NEWSLETTER: Thanks Giving and Giving Thanks

After a very challenging nineteen months of the COVID-19, global pandemic and serious travel restrictions, we are thankful that travel to Burundi from North America is now possible. Yours truly, John McCready, Founder and Program Director for the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund, just returned from a five-week visit to Burundi. I am exceedingly thankful that I was able make the long-awaited trip safely and enjoy a great visit to Burundi.

John McCready; Thankful to Be Able to Visit Burundi

I am thankful that I can report that for the first time, we were successful in visiting all of our development projects and seeing and interacting with our project beneficiaries. I am exceedingly thankful that I can report that all of our development projects are doing quite well in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this very challenging year, we have once again reached the season for giving thanks (Thanksgiving) and we are approaching the season for giving gifts (Giving Tuesday and Christmas). This Newsletter is dedicated to giving thanks. Thanks giving and giving thanks and expressing gratitude are good and we are thankful to have the opportunity to do so.

GIVING THANKS 

Canada has already had its Thanksgiving Day (October 11, 2021) and the United States will soon be celebrating its Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2021; a day to be thankful for the harvest). To all of our readers, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Season and we want to thank you very, very much for your interest in and support for the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund during the past 11 years (the first two one-time, start-up development grants were provided in 2011). Almost all of our 21 active projects are agriculture development projects with a project association involved in cultivating crops, raising animals and microfinancing.

We are thankful for the critical contributions of our Project Beneficiaries, our Project Managers, our Program Coordinator and our Advisory Committee Members. We are grateful for the support and assistance that has been provided by Hope Africa University, the Free Methodist Church of Burundi, the Free Methodist Church USA and the Free Methodist Foundation. We are exceedingly thankful for the donors who have been willing to make donations. It is the donors who have made it possible to provide the money for our one-time, start-up grants for development projects that are designed to allow poor beneficiaries to become self-supporting, self-managing, self-governing and self-sustaining.

Project Beneficiaries

Of course, we are thankful for our hardworking Project Beneficiaries. Although our projects are designed to benefit our Project Beneficiaries, there would be no development, no benefits and no donations without the Project Beneficiaries who have agreed to voluntarily establish, join and participate in a Project Association and work together on their development functions and activities. Our beneficiaries are poor indigenous people, usually vulnerable women, who are willing to work hard to improve the their own lives, the lives of their families and the lives of their fellow association members. Murakoze cane and thank you very, very much!

Rubirizi: Barthelemy’s Batwa Beneficiaries and Their Goats
Kamenge: Ernest’s Beneficiaries, Preparing to Plant Lenga Lenga (Amaranth)
Rubirizi: Viola’s Beneficiaries in One of Their Two Rice Fields
Kayanza: Dieudonne’s Beneficiaries and Some of Their Goats
Raro Hill: Juvenal’s Beneficiaries, Preparing Soil for Planting
Kizunga: Desire’s Beneficiaries, Greeting Their Visitors
Matara: Christine’s Beneficiaries, Pleased to Describe Their Project
Buterere: Audace’s Batwa Beneficiaries, Planting Rice in Two Fields
Bukirasazi, Gitega: Prosper’s Beneficiaries and Their Goats

Project Managers

We are exceeding thankful for our Project Managers who are self-selecting students and/or graduates of Hope Africa University, who voluntarily prepare and submit a project proposal in response to our Calls for Proposals. The Project Managers who receive a one-time, start-up development grant are required to sign a funding agreement, committing to be a long-term, voluntary Project Manager to guide the Project Beneficiaries, the project association members in becoming self-supporting, self-managing, self-governing and self-sustaining. Murakoze cane, asante sana and thank you very, very much!

Project Managers’ Meeting

Thank you to all of our active Project Managers:

  • Aimé Fidèle NINGEJEJE
  • Audace MPAWENIMANA (two projects)
  • Barthelemy MINANI (three projects)
  • Christine KAMIRAMEYA
  • Désiré NSENGIYUMVA
  • Dieudonné IRAMBONA
  • Epithace NDUWAYO
  • Ernest MANIRAKIZA
  • Evelyne KANYANA
  • Jean Claude NGENDAKUMANA
  • Juvenal HAVYARIMANA
  • Kilongo Banyakwa
  • Prosper NIYONGERE
  • Viola NSHEMEZIMANA

Program Coordinator 

We are thankful for our Program Coordinator, Louse NTIRANYIBAGIRA, who is the onsite person in Burundi and provides coordination and support all year-round for our Project Managers and the development projects. As Program Coordinator, Louise plays a important role in facilitating communication, sharing information and coordinating our program and the project reporting. During the pandemic, Louise’s services have been critical to keeping things going. Thank you very much!

Louse NTIRANYIBAGIRA, Program Coordinator

Advisory Committee Members

Thank you very much to our Advisory Committee Members; the members of the United States Advisory Committee and members of the Burundi Advisory Committee. Thank you!

The United States Advisory Committee provides review and support for fundraising initiatives and considers recommendations for the distribution of funds. The membership is as follows.

Bishop Linda Adams, Bishop of the Free Methodist Church USA, Former Director, International Child Care Ministries, Free Methodist Church USA

Bishop Linda Adams

Mr. Lloyd Ganton, Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd Ganton Retirement Centers

Mr. Lloyd Ganton

Rev. Burton Hamilton, Founding Principal, Burlington Christian Academy, Former Chair, Board of Elders, West Highland Baptist Church, Past Vice-Chair, Board of McMaster Divinity College, Past Member of Senate, McMaster Divinity College and Past Board Member for One Mission Society Canada

Rev. Burton Hamilton

Bishop David Kendall, Retired Bishop of the Free Methodist Church USA, Mid-west Conferences and Liaison to Africa

Bishop David Kendall

Rev. Mark Van Valin, Director, Detroit Initiative, Mission Igniter and Former Lead Pastor, Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church

Rev. Mark Van Valin

Dr. John McCready, Founder and Program Director, Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund, Adjunct Professor and Senior Advisor on Development, Hope Africa University and Sole Proprietor, Healthy Horizons Consulting

Dr. John McCready

The Burundi Advisory Committee reviews, evaluates and recommends selected project proposals for small one-time, start-up development grants and oversees the project implementation, reporting and evaluation. The membership is as follows.

Bishop Déogratias NSHIMIYIMANA, Bishop of the Free Methodist Church of Burundi, Former Burundi Director for the African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM)

Bishop Déogratias NSHIMIYIMANA

Mme. Susan Muchiri, Head, Department of Social Work and Community Development, Hope Africa University

Mme. Susan Muchiri

Mme. Esperance MPAWGNIMANA, Graduate, Department of Social Work and Community Development, Hope Africa University, Former Head of Human Resources, Hope Africa University and Owner and Manager of a large chickens and eggs business and a health clinic

Mme. Esperance MPAWGNIMANA

Mme. Louise NTIRANYIBAGIRA, Ex Officio Member, Program Coordinator, Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund, Graduate, Community Development Master’s Program, Hope Africa University and Program Manager, National Council of Churches of Burundi

Mme. Louise NTIRANYIBAGIRA

Mme. Jacqueline Murekasenge, On Study Leave, Former Head, Department of Social Work and Community Development, Hope Africa University

Mme. Jacqueline Murekasenge

Dr. John McCready, Founder and Program Director, Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund, Adjunct Professor and Senior Advisor on Development, Hope Africa University and Sole Proprietor, Healthy Horizons Consulting

Dr. John McCready

Former Member: Rector and Bishop Elie BUCONYORI (deceased), Former Rector of Hope Africa University and Former Bishop of the Free Methodist Church of Burundi

Rector and Bishop Elie BUCONYORI

Organizations 

Thank you very much to representatives of four organizations who have provided and continue to provide much-appreciated support and assistance. Thank you!

The four organizations are as follows.

  • Hope Africa University
  • Free Methodist Church of Burundi
  • Free Methodist Church USA
  • Free Methodist Foundation

Donors 

Thank you very, very much to our donors who have made it possible to provide single, start-up grants for 25 development projects. Thank you donors; thank you very, very much!

Without the donors and their donations, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund cannot survive. We believe that we attract donors who appreciate that the grant money is invested directly in development projects without administrative expenses. The projects mobilize poor beneficiaries to join a project association and work together to help themselves become self-supporting, self-managing, self-governing and self-sustaining. The grant money is invested in development projects that produce results while developing the capacity and the independence of indigenous people in Burundi. We are thankful that our donors have allowed us to contribute significantly to improving the lives of poor indigenous people in Burundi. Thank you very, very much!