24 Dec 2020 • EAB PRESS
HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE
“We are sorry. We are struggling with a permanent regret for what we did and we wish we could go back and act differently”, said former perpetrators of violence against women and girls who shared their testimonies during a forum of those involved in the fight against gender based violence.
The forum aimed to evaluate the progress of different activities conducted at community level to address gender issues including gender violence.
The forum was an opportunity for victims and former perpetrators to speak of their experiences in the past and share how they have transformed the dark past into lives filled with hope and safety. Most of the survivors who shared their stories said that they had believed that it was impossible to hope for a better future.
The department in charge of the fight against gender based violence in the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi appreciates that the provision of assistance is done jointly with different partners and interested parties. Medical, judicial, psycho-social assistance and economic empowerment are among services provided for survivors.
Recently the Safe House, a centre established by the Province to provide basic services, organised three days of training on saving and credit schemes aimed to empower survivors with skills that help them set up small projects.
75 women and men who have been affected by gender based violence attended the training and will act as paired educators in their communities where their role will be to train and form circles of people who have been victims of violence. The training was highly appreciated by the participants.
OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE PAST
One vulnerable group in Burundi are albinos. They have passed through hard times where they have been attacked in different localities and some of them even killed. The administrative authorities and communities made efforts to stop the killing before they spread throughout the country.
Some of the albinos were forced to leave their families and go to seek safety in another place and start a new life.
Vestine is one albino who escaped being killed two years ago. An unidentified person attempted to kill her with a grenade but she survived and fled to a place where she got shelter and protection provided by the Anglican Diocese of Makamba.
After few months of training provided by the Diocese she got a sewing machine and started making dresses for community members in Makamba town.
Speaking about discrimination and stigma, Vestine appreciated how her fellow tailors acted kindly in her training and still now encourage her in her daily job. Even the customers appreciate the clothes she makes and she has now decided to leave the past behind and commit to building her career in sewing.
ORDINATION AND CELEBRATION
The Diocese of Matana celebrated on Sunday 20th December an ordination service filled with praise and joy as 3 deacons and 12 pastors were ordained. The ceremonies held in the new cathedral under construction were attended by various delegations including clergy and officials from the government.
All the bishops of the Province were present at the ceremonies. Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Ntahoturi, the former Bishop of Matana preached and urged the newly ordained to serve the Lord and the community faithfully. He also appealed to everyone present to consider themselves as God’s servants because God entrusts everybody with a specific task that should reflect God’s Kingdom on earth.
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM THE PROVINCE