Between Bwiza and Nyakabiga in Bujumbura, there is an area known as ‘Ku Gifurege’, ‘The Big Gutter’.
Perched along the gutter’s edge are several huts housing sixteen households. Known as ‘The Forgotten’, the community consists of retired and active prostitutes and their children, gamblers and addicts.
Our partners, Green Land Alliance (GLA), were part of a group that felt compelled to come alongside the community at Christmas. The leader of the group spoke powerfully,
“We have come to be by your side on this day (when) we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. God knows every one of us, and our presence here means that you are not forgotten.”
The visitors distributed rice and beans, and as the children enjoyed juice and biscuits, the visitors shared a soda with the adults. For people living in such poverty, a soda is likely to be a rare treat.
A mother told her story. She and her three children are HIV positive and take medication five times a day. She hadn’t been able to feed the children since the day before and was experiencing difficulty getting them to take their medicine on an empty stomach. The food supplies brought by the team meant that as well as being fed, the family would be happier taking the drugs that keep them alive. She dreams of providing for her family, selling avocados in the market.
When the team left Ku Gifurege, they were blessed by the happiness etched upon the faces of the residents. Dismas of Greeland Alliance writes, “Small actions performed out of a loving and serving heart can make hopeless people experience the love of God.”