NEWSLETTER: The Year in Review, 2018

We are grateful that 2018 was an exciting and productive year for our development work in Burundi, conducted in support of Hope Africa University, students, graduates and Burundian beneficiaries. As the year closes and a new one begins, we are pleased to provide you with a summary outline of some of our activities and accomplishments in 2018.

Summary of 2018 Activities and Accomplishments

* Continued development work in Burundi and visited Hope Africa University (HAU) and Burundi four times

* Hosted the new HAU Rector, Dr. Victor BARATOTA for visits to two of our development projects

HAU Rector Visits Goats and Crops Project in Isale Commune
Rector Visits Batwa Bricks and Rice Project in Buterere

* Added a new member of the Burundi Advisory Committee, Esperance MPAWGNIMANA

  • Mme Esperance is a graduate of the HAU Social Work and Community Development Bachelor’s Program and she is a very successful business woman
Esperance MPAWGNIMANA, New Member

* Taught my Community Needs Assessment course at HAU; a required course for the new Community Development Master’s Program

John Teaching Community Needs Assessment Course
Student Participation

* Developed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding, expanding my role at Hope Africa University

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

* Participated in the HAU 2018 Graduation Ceremonies, presenting the first nine graduates of the Community Development Master’s Program

* Conducted the annual Call for Proposals 2018, received 11 proposals and the Burundi Advisory Committee reviewed the proposals, interviewed a shortlist of would-be project managers and selected two of the proposed projects for development grants

  • Breeding Goats and Cultivating Crops for Vulnerable Women from Mihigo Colline, Kayanza Province, Dieudonné IRAMBONA
Women and Their Goats
  • Farming Potatoes and Breeding Goats in Bukirasazi Commune, Prosper NIYONGERE
Association Members and Their Goats

* Acquired the services of a half-time onsite Program Coordinator, Louise NTIRANYIBAGIRA

Program Coordinator
  • Louise has years of related experience, Louise received the top honours among the nine first graduates of the new HAU Community Development Master’s Program and she is doing a very good job as the onsite Program Coordinator

* Made field visits to some of our now 20 development projects and held two Project Managers’ meetings

Women with Their Goats
Beneficiaries with Their Harvested Peas
Project Managers and Program Coordinator
Project Managers and Program Coordinator

* Conducted a Special Call for Proposals for graduates of the new HAU Community Development Master’s Program and provided grants to two new development projects

  • Supporting Poor and Vulnerable Women by Raising Pigs and Cultivating Crops at Kajaga in Mutimbuzi Commune, Aimé Fidèle NINGEJEJE
Beneficiaries Preparing Soil for Beans
  • Supporting Batwa Women in Breeding Goats and Cultivating Rice at Rubirizi in Mutimbuzi Commune, Guillaume GAHUNGU
Some of the 18 Association Members

Hosted the U.S. Ambassador, Anne Casper for two wonderful field visits to two of our development projects

Batwa Bricks & Rice Project, Association President & Ambassador
Happily Sharing the Brickmaking Experience
Women’s Shopkeepers’ Project, Beneficiaries and U.S. Ambassador
Joining the Sewing Circle

* Highlighted the publication of an article by an instructor at HAU and a graduate of the HAU Community Development Master’s Program

  • To enhance the quality of education at Hope Africa University, Rector Victor BARANTOTA has asked a number of us to encourage and support research and publication by faculty members, students and graduates. Although I can take no credit for the accomplishment, when I learned about a recent publication of an article and to encourage more publication, I distributed the article to the Rector, other senior staff members of HAU, selected students and graduates and others.
  • The article, entitled Improving Living Conditions of Widows: The Role of Sister Connection Organization in Burundi, was written by Alexis NDABARUSHIMANA and Francine DUSHIME and published in the European Scientific Journal.  The article was based on Francine DUSHIME’s Community Development Master’s thesis.
Francine DUSHIME

* Attracted four staff members of two non-government organizations (NGOs) to audit my Community Needs Assessment course in January

  • Two auditing students from Think East Africa
  • Two auditing students from Rema Burundi

* Participated in a motorcycle adventure in Tennessee, U.S.A. with Ken Johnson and his son Sam

  • Ken Johnson has been of considerable help to me in Burundi by storing my motorcycle and loaning me the Blue Jeep to visit our development projects
Ken Johnson, Checking the Oil in Blue Jeep
  • Since Ken’s family is in Florida now, he is in the United States some of the time and so we decided to meet in Tennessee to ride motorcycles along the “Tail-of-the-Dragon” (11 miles and 318 curves)and some of the surrounding mountain roads
Motorcycling Companions, Ken & Sam Johnson