My Burundi is an after-school club which encourages students to have pride in their nation, and also in their community. It stirs and inspires students to consider the difference they can make to build Burundi for the better. The topics covered include conflict resolution, servant leadership, community service, food production and environmental protection.
In one session of the My Burundi club, Jonas was struck by the issue in his community of open defecation. In his poor neighbourhood, most people do not have access to a toilet, so they have no choice but to use the land around them. But this can have devastating consequences, as many people and livestock drink from local streams, which can quickly become polluted with faeces. Jonas felt convicted to do something.
He gathered the resources to build a public toilet over a cesspit. He had limited funding, so he asked his parents to pay for some roofing sheets to cover the top of the toilet.
Most of us would not use the word ‘beautiful’ to describe the average public toilet, but Jonas proudly does and compared to the alternative, we’re inclined to agree! Jonas did his best “to make the toilet attractive so that people living nearby or passing by be attracted by the beauty of the toilet and use it and stop defecating in the forest and rivers.”
We love your initiative, Jonas! He is undoubtedly a future leader. Clubs such as My Burundi are just one facet of the ministry of Restoration Burundi as they work in schools to encourage and motivate the future generations of Burundi.
Eric used to be shy, always fearful of others and would run away from any hint of conflict. When hanging out with his friends, he never had much to say. But through attending My Burundi, Eric came out of his shell. It gave him a safe space to try public speaking, and he even learned about conflict resolution, addressing his fears of confrontation. Eric got stuck into learning about food safety and production, and as a result has been given the responsibility of being Food Supervisor in school. Once reserved and fearful, Eric is proud of how far he has come and has developed big dreams: “I am optimistic I will even end up running the country!” he says.
The team at Restoration Burundi are gifted in drawing alongside the individual – be it Jonas or Eric – and helping them with the first step on the ladder. They work in schools, in poor villages, with repatriated refugees and university students. They aim to equip each person to promote peace, prosperity and transformation in their communities.