Nduza Nkuduze, which means ‘let’s edify each other’, is a microloans group in the Batwa (Pygmy) community of Busiga, Muyinga Province in the North of Burundi.
For the past four years, they have been able to save enough money to start small businesses. This has enabled them to harvest crops from their farms. The impact upon their lives has been great. They now have a sense of pride, knowing that they can contribute to their children’s future.
Godelieve, a mother of five, is a well-respected lady in the community. She was only able to complete four years of education at primary school. Despite being smart and performing well, she never had a chance to continue with her studies. Even today, this is extremely common in Burundi, with only 32% of children completing lower secondary education.
Born into a very poor family, she felt that she was a burden to her parents. This led to her marrying at a young age. Unfortunately, her husband could barely support her and their children. When Harvest Initiatives became involved in their community, she was amongst the first people whose lives were transformed.
Godelieve is now a proud owner of goats and pigs. She leads the Batwa community in Busiga, Ngozi, and is head of their savings and loan groups. She has been able to save enough to improve the standard of living of her family. It has motivated other women in her community to see that with support, they too can make sustainable changes in their lives.
These microloans have produced wonderful transformation – their members now own farms, livestock, and small businesses. They are no longer held in disdain by other communities which had marginalized them for such a long time.