1 Jun 2019 • EAB PRESS
EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
In Kayanza, a northern province of Burundi, Christian Aid Burundi has launched a project aimed at empowering community members, particularly women through renewable energy.
This new project named Sustainable Livelihoods through Cooperatives, Renewable Energy and Gender Empowerment in Burundi (SL-CREGEB) is a joint initiative of different partners supported by Christian Aid Burundi, among them Mothers’ Union that will bring expertise in different areas of community development.
Mothers’ Union will help participants of the project to deal with demographic pressure by equipping women with skills in reproductive health and family planning, fighting against HIV and the improvement of nutrition through care groups.
Some partners will intervene in helping cooperatives of women involved in coffee production to improve the quality of the coffee, access the best markets and ensure clear branding that shows it is produced by women.
In addition, the project will build roasting factories, promote the use of renewable energy, build the capacity of women, and strengthen the leadership within cooperatives and the economic empowerment of women.
MAKING WAY FOR CHURCH GROWTH
Local churches in Burundi are finding it necessary to adapt their church buildings to deal with increased attendance and growth.
In Muyange on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in the Commune of Nyanza Lac close to the border with Tanzania members of the parish have initiated a project to build a new and much larger church to cater for the ever growing number of people wanting to attend worship.
Nyanza Lac is one of the most populated communes in Burundi and often welcomes people returning from exile in Tanzania. However it is also a region where heavy rains often occur causing major damage particularly to buildings but also to the environment.
Church members therefore initiated the project as a solution to such issues. For the past two years the congregation has been contributing to the building of a huge church by donating funds, supplying stones, and providing other crafts. The use of stronger materials will help to avoid damage caused by violent storms. They will eventually have a facility that will cater for large meetings of several thousand people for example when the sub-parishes gather together for special services.
More than a thousand young people are being trained in life skills and economic empowerment across the communes of Nyanza Lac and Rumonge. The training is reaching youth living in communities not targeted by the program when it started three years ago.
Youth have been one of the most vulnerable groups in Burundi. For many decades young people have faced all kinds of challenging and difficult situations that have left them without a proper education and struggling to acquire skills that will ensure they have a good future.
The purpose of the programme that is supported by the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi and UNICEF is to make youth more resilient to a range of issues such as poverty and political manipulation in order to equip them to make an impact within their communities especially as peace makers. The trainees will then constitute a network of peer educators able to help others to make a positive and useful contribution in the country.