Successful implementation of the Bumbatira Amahoro Project

The implementation of the Project “Bumbatira Amahoro” continues amongst tensions in Burundi. Beneficiaries have now received training in the SILC (Saving and Internal Lending Community) methodology (where groups pool weekly savings and take loans with low interest rates). In Ngozi commune’s weekly meeting on the 20th August 2015 the discussion focused on what people foresaw doing with the funds that would be available to them for lending.  A number of ideas came up most of them focusing on sales or small local businesses. Guided by the animator the discussion included; making sure goals are realistic given the small amount that each person is able to receive to start with, thinking strategically in regards of what is needed in the community, who will use the service, if someone else is doing it already and once the small business is set up how to attract customers. Ethics were also discussed and the need for the group as youth leaders in the community to lead by example (the selling of cigarettes was thus not encouraged).

The peace committees (which are groups of seven individuals from the communes from different political parties and the administrations that have received training on peace mediation and conflict prevention) have been busy as well. All of them met for provincial meetings in the week of 24th – 28th of August. Here they were provided with an opportunity to discuss what was going well and what they needed further support with. There have been incidents of minor conflicts in many of the communes where the project takes place but often the peace committee has been able to intervene and calm the population and make sure that whatever crime that was committed was dealt with using rule of law rather than mob violence or revenge. There are also examples of members of the community reaching out to members of the peace committee asking them to intervene in conflicts, depicting that the peace committees seem to have gained the trust and confidence needed from their communities to do effective mediation work.

CEDAC is well aware of the need for this kind of work to continue giving the continued tensions in the country and continues working hard for peace and stability in Burundi.

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