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Christian Aid in Burundi

Christian Aid in Burundi

Christian Aid has been working in in Burundi since 1995. Initially established to provide humanitarian assistance to restore the dignity of civil conflict survivors, especially women and children, the programme’s focus has now shifted to development. 

We aim to address the root causes of poverty through governance projects and tackling the spread of HIV and the related stigma and discrimination.

Our areas of expertise

Pro-poor market development

As a leading agency on market development, working with partners in the coffee, sunflower, maize and honey sectors, we support cooperatives to ensure that small-scale farmers become significant actors in the market. We aim to increase our coffee farmers’ trade and business through access to finance and strong relationships with national and international private sector organisations. We are a founding member of Agri-Hub Burundi, a network that promotes rural entrepreneurship and agribusiness.

Community health, nutrition and HIV

We have strong partnerships with churches, faith-based organisations, and government institutions to promote the SAVE approach to HIV (Safer practices; Access to treatment and nutrition; Voluntary, routine and stigma-free counselling and testing; Empowerment).

Taking the lead from the communities we work with, we promote sexual reproductive health and family planning, and a focus on women’s empowerment and positive masculinity. We use holistic and participatory approaches to address the root causes of health and nutrition concerns. 

Faith-based partners and health services

Religion is a powerful force in Burundi and the legitimacy and reach of our faith-based partners is vital in improving health-seeking behaviour and mobilising communities to demand better services. We use these relationships, and our experience of HIV work, to support systemic changes to the health system in Burundi. Our partnership with BUNERELA+ provides us with a unique opportunity to mobilise the power of faith to address the HIV epidemic.

Policy and advocacy

We work with communities to raise their voice and influence unfair systems and structures. The programme focuses on citizen participation in decision-making. Partners are empowered to challenge structures and institutions, promote citizen participation and government transparency and accountability. 

Humanitarian response

Since 2015, in response to the political situation our emergency response work has focused on food security and tackling gender-based violence.

Our aims

  • Our vision is of resilient Burundian communities living in harmony and in a secure environment, empowered to use available resources and opportunities equally to end poverty.
  • We want to see sustainable, resilient food production and a decline in food insecurity and malnutrition, with farmers receiving a fair market price for their produce.
  • We are supporting churches and faith-based organisations to bring change within communities and hold the government to account on health and HIV issues.

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Melanie Niyonzima grows sunflowers after being trained by our partner Warubizi.

Results

In Their Lifetime innovative projects

Through the In Their Lifetime (ITL) coffee project, nearly 10,000 smallholder farmers have increased their average income by 65% since the beginning of the project.

We have seen average coffee productivity raised by 240%, significantly increasing revenue for farmers.

Advocacy work has pushed the Central Bank to reduce the coffee refinancing rate from 10% to 3%. We have seen cooperatives become self-reliant and employ an agronomist to provide extension services to the farmers - a role played by NGOs in the past.

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Emile Kamwenubusa, co-founder and Coffee Value Chain Administrator, with coffee farmer Bonaventure.

Supporting sunflower farmers to get the best price

Over 8,000 sunflower farmers in Rutana are now connected to sunflower oil processors and have increased the price of seeds thanks to Warubizi Asbl, a non-profit organisation supported by Christian Aid.

Warubizi helped them set up 11 cooperatives with about 400 people in each. They receive technical support to improve agricultural techniques and are provided with information and training on climate change resilience.

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Sunflower seeds wait to be processed into oil at the Warubizi supported processing centre.

Loans for cooperatives

We have supported one of our maize cooperatives to access a loan worth £6,000 to increase seed yield. Another cooperative that is predominantly made up of women has also been supported to temporarily acquire 10 hectares from the government for cultivation.

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Women coffee farmers who have benefitted from selling coffee at the cooperative coffee washing station in Kayanza.

Renewable energy

In partnership with COPED, CAB is working on a renewable energy pilot where the waste/ by-product from the processed palm oil is converted in bio gas. Previously this was let into the lake and has harmed marine life, polluting the water and the soil. The end product of the bio gas is used as fertiliser and over 2,000 families are benefiting from this. There is plan to scale this up.

Faith leaders combatting HIV

Our DFID funded work with BUNERELA+, a network of religions leaders living with or personally affected by HIV, has reached over 3,600 young people, providing vital information on HIV prevention and other sexually transmitted infections.

'I have seen change in production of coffee after I applied the improved practices I received from the trainers, I received over 700kg cherry from my 69 trees last year, up from an average of 300kg.'
Sindarkira Marcienne
A 70-year-old coffee farmer and coffee group member

Our programmes

Multi-Annual Programme Scheme (MAPS)

We implemented the Multi-Annual Programme Scheme (MAPS) funded by Irish Aid that helped partners reintegrating returnees from Tanzania after more than 35 years of exile. One project provided youth associations with skills and fishing equipment in Nyanza Lac, Rumonge and Minago. The project helped the returnees move towards a smooth and peaceful reintegration into their communities of origin.

Rowan Trust

Rowan Trust helped returnees to rebuild more than 700 houses in Kayogoro, Makamba province. The Project provided small animals and agriculture tools and seeds to support farmers restarting food production on their farms.

DFID PPA

The Department for International Development's (DFID) Partnership Programme Arrangement (PPA), supported the HUMURA (‘feel encouraged’) consortium of four faith-based organisations and churches, which works to promote community health and fight against HIV and AIDS.

HUMURA provides educational messages about HIV and other preventable diseases. HUMURA also supplies eight voluntary and counselling centres with chemicals, equipment and furniture; and provides nutritional and medical care to people living with HIV.

Among the many achievements of this programme was the support provided to religious leaders living with HIV to found BUNERELA+ where they can meet, share and encourage each other. This partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to mobilise the power of faith to address the HIV epidemic

The DFID funding also helped to form the Burundi Interfaith Network Against HIV, where the Catholic Church, Anglicans, Pentecostal Church, Muslims and others work together to fight HIV and other diseases. The PPA programme has reached more than 200,000 people in Burundi.

Tackling violence with Irish Aid, the FCO and the British Embassy

Through Irish Aid, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and British Embassy funding we are supporting the livelihoods and safety of people most affected by conflict in southern Burundi. By partnering with faith-based organisations and women’s groups we are seeing a significant increase in reported incidents of violence and abuse.

Due to the work of local committees’ and training, stigma has reduced and people know how to seek justice. We are also responded by providing cash for work for families most in need.

Family planning with World Vision

In partnership with World Vision and local and national partners we are establishing a network which will provide a platform to address family planning. Christian Aid Burundi is recognised as a leader in advocacy and its strategy to work through faith-based partners will help challenge those who historically have been resistant to recommended family planning practices.

Current and Past Programmes

Women winnow grain

In Their Lifetime (ITL)

Resources

Published
An overview of Christian Aid's work in Burundi - our aims, vision and areas of expertise.
Published
Notre stratégie vise à nouer des partenariats avec des églises, la société civile, le gouvernement et le secteur privé, fondés sur une vision commune d’un changement systémique plutôt que sur la prestation de services et l’octroi de subventions.

Our People

Philip Mato Galgallo

Country Manager, Christian Aid Burundi

Philip has over 15 years practical field experience in relief and development. He has served in many countries in Africa and understands the context well. He has a Bachelor of Sciences in Agricultural Engineering and a Masters in Project Planning and Management. Philip is passionate about serving the poor and ending poverty.

Egide Bashirahishize Egide

Finance Manager, Christian Aid Burundi

Egide joined Christian Aid Burundi in 2004 and has extensive experience in accounting and financial management in government and international organisations. He has worked across different country teams at Christian Aid, leading on implementing financial management processes.

Contact us

Christian Aid Burundi is based in Bujumbura. Our team includes nine staff with significant programmatic experience. We can also draw on the expertise of colleagues at our UK headquarters, other Christian Aid teams across Africa and world, and INGO networks in Burundi.

pgalgallo@gmail.com 

(+257) 22212325

Christian Aid Burundi
Q.INSS, Avenue Source du Nil 22
PO Box 2978
Bujumbura
Burundi