Projects in Burundi

In Burundi, we have started porridge programs for starving children in indigenous communities, built dozens of brick homes for people living in grass huts, built clean water systems in communities previously existing on unfiltered river water. We have also purchased uniforms and supplies for indigenous children who would not otherwise be permitted to attend school

Feeding Program

Location: Gahararo, Burundi

In 2012, GCA began doing projects with the Batwa people in the African nation of Burundi. The Batwa are the indigenous people of Burundi. They are desperately poor and have a shocking infant mortality rate.

In 2015, we started a porridge program in the Batwa village of Gahararo in which we feed a bowl of porridge each day to the village’s children. Before we started our program, the children would eat only three or four times per week and an average of 3 children would die of starvation each month.

In the three years since we started our porridge program only five children in total have died of starvation in Gahararo

Housing Project

Location: Gahararo, Burundi

We work in two Batwa villages in Muyinga Province in the northern part of Burundi. The first village, called Gahararo, is home to 72 Batwa families. The second village, Ruganirwa, is home to 54 families.

Before we started working in these two villages, the families lived in traditional grass huts. In 2015, however, we embarked on an ambitious plan to build a small adobe home for each of Gahararo’s Batwa families. We completed the houses in Gahararo in 2016. Last year, our partner in Burundi, Harvest Initiatives, asked us to replicate the housing project we did in Gaharo in the adjacent village of Ruganirwa. We raised the money for the project, established a plan, and executed it all by earlier this year.

Water Project

Location: Gahararo, Burundi

Before late 2017, the Batwa’s access to water was difficult indeed. The nearest source was a 2-mile walk down an extremely steep and narrow path. The water had to be carried back to the village in heavy jerry cans.

The women of the village would typically make two or three round trips to the source each day. In 2016, we undertook to build a system that would pump water up the mountain to the village from the source below. We hoped that by making it easier for the Batwa families to get water, we could free up their time for other productive activities. Along the way, we decided to increase the size and scope of the water project so that our system would also serve the surrounding Hutu and Tutsi villages.

We opened our system in early 2017. It serves not only the 72 Batwa families in Gahararo, but more than 1,100 other families in the surrounding area, all for a total of 6,000 people served. Our project is the largest privately funded water project in Burundi.