Melanie Niyonzima grows sunflowers after being trained by our partner Warubizi.
In Burundi we work on...
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.
Since 2015, in response to the political situation our emergency response work has focused on food security and tackling gender-based violence.
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.
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.
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.
Women coffee farmers who have benefitted from selling coffee at the cooperative coffee washing station in Kayanza.
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.’
A 70-year-old coffee farmer and coffee group member
Ellis-Hadwin Health Legacy
The Ellis-Hadwin Legacy is a £2.9 million fund set up to deliver a three-year health programme in Burundi, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.
In Their Lifetime (ITL)
In Their Lifetime Appeal (ITL) is a seed fund enabling Christian Aid to pioneer new approaches to fighting poverty and scale up solutions that work.
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 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.
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.
Reports and resources
Our work in Burundi looks to build resilience through provision of essential needs and promote pro-poor markets that empower people economically.
A reflection by the ACT Alliance Humanitarian Policy and Practice Advisory Group on the unique role of faith-based organisations in humanitarian cr
Recommends how faith leaders can support Ebola recovery in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and discusses the broader role of faith in humanitarian response.
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.
Christian Aid Burundi is based in Bujumbura. Our team includes nine staff with significant programmatic experience.
Finance manager, Christian Aid Burundi
Egide joined Christian Aid Burundi in 2004 and has extensive experience in accounting and financial management.
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