We’ve been busy over the past year in Bujumbura: from repairing a hen=house to putting 150 children through school, CAPE’s staff and volunteers are working around the clock to improve children’s lives.

Already one of the poorest countries in the world, Burundi has been facing civil unrest and violence since the Summer 2015 election. The political turmoil and economic deterioration have left children – who make up half of the population – to bear the brunt of the crisis. Through it all, Bread and Water for Africa UK has been working tirelessly with our partner CAPE (Centre for Aid and Protection of Children) to rebuild lives and give support to communities.

Repaired and renewed

In the village of Sab, where the school’s chicken coop was washed away by flash floods, we’ve finally completed the rebuilding of a new hen-house and fence. Now we’re ready to buy the chickens, the children are so excited. By keeping chickens, they’ll be able to enjoy a healthy egg every day, a protein-rich meal that will help fill their tummies and help them concentrate at school. It’s hard to believe, but in a country with dizzying levels of chronic malnutrition, eating one egg a day can literally be life-saving.

Against the odds

You may remember our project launch to help build a sewing workshop for impoverished mothers. Thanks to the kind donations of supporters across the UK, the construction of the new workshop began last year. But the dramatic political situation in the country meant that, time and time again, the project had to be put on hold. Now, the workshop is finished and ready to accept its first sewing students. Soon, women will have the tools and skills they need to be able to feed their children – and give them the change of a brighter future.

A New Start

Because of our supporters’ generosity, we’ve been able to open the Murakaza School for 150 of the most vulnerable children in Bujumbura. Now, 90 boys and 60 girls from impoverished families, who weren’t previously attending school at all, have a future filled with possibility ahead of them. They can learn to read and write, play sports, and develop many other skills – all thanks to compassionate individuals who recognise the right of all children to grow and learn.

School can really be a life-saver in uncertain climates such as Bujumbura. Many of these boys and girls would otherwise be spending their days on the streets, exposed to dangers such as begging, drug-taking, or other exploitation. By coming daily to the Murakaza School, however, they’ll not only be protected and educated. They’ll also receive vital health services, including medicines, advice, and support for their families. Importantly, these children will also be officially registered with the authorities, ensuring their rights as citizens both now and in the future.