Dear friends of the Village Imuhira,

Freshly back from a 10-day visit to Burundi, project founder Luc Torrini has some exciting and challenging news to share.

How are things progressing in the school complex?

The technical school is now fully operational. 20 students attend classes, and orders keep coming in for products made in the carpentry workshop. As the ultimate aim is for the Village Imuhira to be self-financing, this is a very encouraging start!

Results in the primary school are improving year by year, judging by the overall success rate, but it’s a real challenge to cater for the specific needs each of the 550 pupils. Sadly, since the beginning of the year 30 children have dropped out, because of lack of parental support, poverty, sickness, or because their family moved away in search of work, etc.

The canteen continues to provide vital nutritional aid to the children.

What are the immediate plans for the future?

We plan to build three new classes for the technical school, and hope to open a new masonry department in 2012.

We have just enrolled a full-time community nurse who will practise preventative health care in the families. She will provide special assistance to orphans and other children in vulnerable situations, and will seek to build bonds of solidarity within the local community.

Through the farm project, we aim to support local peasants’ associations in their livestock and agricultural programmes, as we are already doing with the beekeepers of the region.

We also plan to adapt the school’s plumbing system to provide safe running water to the local population. Thanks to the runners of Colorado Springs, finance for this project is starting to flow in!

During your stay, you organised a two-day retreat for all the Village Imuhira personnel. Why? How did it go?

It’s vital for all those directly involved in the project to share the same values that we are seeking to transmit to the local population. So over 40 of us travelled to a wonderful retreat centre, and we enjoyed two days of extraordinary fellowship. We all sensed a real feeling of belonging to the Village Imuhira.

A word of conclusion?

At present, in Burundi, 42 people are working full-time for the Village Imuhira. That’s impressive! Many children and teenagers are receiving education. The beehives and carpentry workshops are beginning to generate revenue which will cover some of the costs. However, in order to reach the objective of full autonomy, we are still in urgent need of financial support – to build new classes, purchase medical equipment, care for those most destitute…

A big “thank you” once again to each of our donors. As you invest now, we won’t have to call on you later!

Make a solidarity gift to the Village Imuhira.

The Village Imuhira team.

Dutch, French