Society

Batwa salute Communities of Hope support

Since five years, Batwa from Matara (Bujumbura) and Muyange II (Bubanza) appreciate the great support offered by the Communities of Hope NGO.-Yves Didier Irakoze

Claude Nikondeha with some of the Batwa ©Iwacu

Claude Nikondeha with some of the Batwa ©Iwacu

“I was somehow living like a slave excluded from the community but now I’m integrated and have found my freedom in the community,” states Daniel Nimbona, a Twa of 45 years old. He adds that now he has got a land to cultivate and feed his family. He is no longer begging anyone thanks to the help given by the Communities of Hope.
According to Bosco Vyizigiro, a Twa from Bubanza, he was some time ago hopeless and considered himself as a good-for-nothing person in the society but when the Communities of Hope came to visit and support him, he regained hope and the joy of living. “Now I’m the leader of the community and I’m satisfied with the help they provide to us,” indicates Vyizigiro.
For Fabien Sinankwa, a Twa from Matara, he appreciates the level of integrity he has now in his area. He also salutes the medical care and education help for their children provided by the Communities of Hope.

They really needed an effective support

According to Claude Nikondeha, Country Director of Communities of Hope, those Batwa were living in deplorable and harsh situations. He states that he was really shocked during his visit in Burundi by the way they lived and the house that sheltered them beside a cemetery. Thereafter, he continues, he talked to his fellows from Texas and they did what they could do to start their mission in Burundi in 2009.
“We gathered Batwa from Matara into one community and we worked with the nuns who had schools and a health center near that community,” indicates Nikondeha. He goes saying that they focus on food security, sustainable development, education, health care and human rights like having an identity card and registering their children officially in public offices.

“I’m satisfied that now Batwa are now fully integrated and have a more positive role to play in the community than 5 years ago. This is a great step and an honorable work to us and to the community,” mentions Nikondeha.
David Shook, an American from Texas who also supports those Batwa mentions that he has got a big experience from this group of people who are rejected and considered useless in the community.
“Batwa are like other common people. They were generous to me and I learned much from them and we wanted to approach them with dignity. So, even though they were rejected, Batwa showed that they were human beings and hard workers,” states David.

David mentions that Batwa from Matara show their ability of working and they have a sense of entrepreneurship. “A group of six Batwa from Matara has set up a restaurant; they now make soaps and sell them to the community. Today, they are wholesalers and offer jobs to other people,” Shook says with satisfaction.
Nikondeha concludes that in Bubanza the process of helping Batwa is underway because of a big number of them still needs a strong support. According to him, they are eager to help all Batwa in Burundi. However, states Nikondeha, they realized that what they did at Matara and Bubanza took much time and required enough means; but thanks to the financial support they often get, they will achieve their target.
“That’s the reason why we provide them some training sessions and give credits for little interest reimbursement through Kazoza microfinance that we have also set up,” he declares.

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