During the Civil War in Burundi many villages near the border were attacked frequently. The women fled across to neighbouring Congo. When they returned they discovered their homes had been destroyed and their men slaughtered. These women are the poorest of the poor, with simple mud shack homes which leak and no skills to earn a decent living.
J-Life Burundi works with these widows and orphans, helping them get out of debt and building new homes, like the one pictured here. We have already helped build several homes but there are 200 widows and orphans we are working with, so it's still possible to sponsor a home!
As well as building homes, we work with the community to provide support to the children and women, providing education and skills training, sharing the love of God. The young people have asked for IT training and to farm honey. Most people in this community have never had the opportunity to use a computer so this is a big step forward for them. The ladies also want to learn to sew as well as make the soap.
Theogene, Ernest and Fabrice are orphans living in the north of Burundi. Despite the tragedy of their young lives, they have hope as they are taking part in the J-Life education and training programme. Our supporters have provided brand new homes for them with a separate kitchen each where they can cook. Ernest and his younger brother Theogene keep goats, rabbits and chickens. Ernest says "My dream is to have 10 chickens, then I can start saving for a better future."
Around 70% of people in Burundi make a living through subsistence farming. There are few other opportunities. People walk around with heavy loads of produce - beans, rice and sweet potatoes on their head wrapped in cloth. One of the key problems of this area where people suffered terribly during the war, is the lack of skills and training opportunities. So JLife has built a training centre where they train young people and widows. The widows are enterprising and have already started a soap-making business, selling to other local businesses such as cafes.