In October, I was able to visit Burundi again and this newsletter provides an update on the visit. The main purpose of my trip was to visit the development projects that have received funding from the Student Grants Program of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund. I was able to make onsite visits to six of the eight development projects and take care of some other important business.
Meeting with the New Bishop
My most recent visit to Burundi was at the invitation of the recently elected bishop of the Free Methodist Church of Burundi; Bishop Onésphore Nzigo. Right at the beginning of my visit, I had a very encouraging and productive meeting with the new bishop. I was delighted to be reminded that Bishop Nzigo knew my parents, Burton McCready and Dorothy (Haley) McCready, and he was a house guest at their home in Spring Arbor. I am looking forward to a very good working relationship with Bishop Nzigo.
Visits to the Projects
There are eight development projects that have been funded by the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund. I was able to make exciting and interesting onsite visits to six of the projects (most recently funded listed first). I will be providing progress reports on the projects in the near future.
- Development of Vegetable Culture for the Self-Financing of IAP Twubake, Anicet Nyandwi
- Farming Rice in Gihanga Commune, Ezechiel Manirakiza
- Improving Food Security through Chickens at Karurama, Fidèle Niyoyita
- Improved Food Security at Kabezi, Marie Nadège Twagirayezu and Anicet Nyandwi
- Farming Goats at Gatwe, Jean Claude Ngendakumana
- Tailoring for Women at Kinama, Christine Kamirameya
Meeting with Project Managers
The eight development projects each have one or two project managers. The projects are located in a variety of locations and the project managers do not see each very often. During this visit to Burundi, Rev. Rev. Déogratias Nshimiyimana, a member of the African Governing Committee, and I were able to organize a meeting of the project managers. All eight development projects were represented at the meeting.
The meeting offered each of the project managers a chance to provide a project description of their project and a project update. During the meeting, two themes emerged; the importance of involving and developing the capacity of the project beneficiaries and the importance of providing regular progress reports on the projects.
African Governing Committee Membership
With the passing of Bishop Elie Buconyori, the person who suggested creating the development fund and a member of the African Governing Committee, it became necessary to add to the membership of the African Governing Committee. In consultation with Rev. Déogratias Nshimiyimana and the members of the North American Governing Committee, the African Governing Committee has two new members. I am pleased to announce that Bishop Onésphore Nzigo, Bishop of the Free Methodist Church of Burundi, and Jacqueline Murekasenge, Head of the Department of Social Work and Community Development at Hope Africa University, have agreed to serve on the African Governing Committee of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund.
Book Highlighting J.W. Haley’s Manuscript
With financial support from the ‘Hamilton’ Family, work is taking place that should lead to the publishing of book highlighting John Wesley Haley’s unpublished manuscript on the building the indigenous church. With the passing of Bishop Elie Buconyori, we needed a person to serve as senior author for the section providing a status report, a report card on the indigenous church in Burundi. I am pleased to announce that Bishop Onésphore Nzigo agreed to serve as the senior author for this section.
In addition, I met with Rev. Evariste Harerimana who is the Research Assistant to do the research and initial writing of the status report on the indigenous church in Burundi. Rev. Harerimana has been doing research and is now at the point where he needs to do the write-up on the research. Rev. Harerimana agreed to develop a full first draft by the end of the year. I look forward to meeting with Rev. Harerimana in January in an attempt to finalize the initial writing.
Meeting with the New Rector
During my visit to Burundi, I had the opportunity to meet with the new Rector of Hope Africa University; Bishop Gerald Bates. Bishop Bates explained that visiting professors would be invited to teach at Hope Africa University on the basis of the university’s need for teaching assistance. Since my visit, I have learned that the Head of the Department of Social Work and Community Development has told the Rector that I am needed to teach this coming January. Accordingly, I have been invited by Bishop Bates and I will be returning to Burundi in January to teach again at Hope Africa University.
In addition, Bishop Bates and I agreed that we would attempt to work out a Memorandum of Understanding on my role with Hope Africa University. Since my visit, I have heard from Bishop Bates who has invited my input into the process of developing a Memorandum of Understanding and, specifically, he asked about areas within which I could contribute to the development of funding proposals.