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Pilot group share experiences in Kirundo
Photo No. : P110707-1
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Families in Kirundo store seeds for the next planting
Photo No. : P110707-2
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ARCHBISHOP'S APPEAL TO UK GOVERNMENT AND OTHER RECENT NEWS
 
EAB PRESS 110707-1
July 7, 2011

[EAB Press - Burundi] ARCHBISHOP APPEALS TO UK GOVERNMENT ON BEHALF OF BURUNDI

On the 5th July the Archbishop, the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, gave evidence at the Parliamentary International Development Select Committee’s enquiry into the UK government’s decision to end its bilateral aid programme for Burundi and close the DFID office in Bujumbura in March 2012.

He appealed to the UK government to reconsider its decision arguing that even though the £12 million programme might appear small compared to the global aid given by the UK it was a significant amount for a country that is one of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world as it emerges out of conflict.

He refuted the idea that the population of Burundi would not suffer from the decision and pleaded that Burundi should not be made an “aid orphan”. He maintained that loss of aid could have a domino effect in the region and send a negative message to others. The valuable experience and expertise of DFID would be a great loss to the country.

The notion of looking for other donors would be difficult because they already have their programmes and the hope that Burundi might trade its way out of poverty through “Trade Mark East Africa” – an initiative to increase trade and commerce within the region, part-funded by the UK - would not be a foregone conclusion.

Along with the Anglican Alliance for Development, Relief, and Advocacy within the Anglican Communion who facilitated the Archbishop’s visit, the Anglican Church of Burundi will continue to mediate for the country in order to secure future support.

HOPE FOR A COMMUNITY

We have previously reported the plight of people living in the Province of Kirundo in the north of Burundi who have suffered from drought and famine. Now there is good news.

The Province has been working with a pilot project supported by Episcopal Relief and Development to help a target group of 200 families to find a way forward. Each family received 10kg of beans to plant last season.

Sufficient rain produced a harvest per family of about 100kg. This has meant that people can store seeds for the next planting and have enough to eat. Members of the project are encouraged because they neither have to go to neighbouring Rwanda to buy food and seeds nor do they have to seek credits in order to survive.

A training programme is promoting good working practice that is being shared as a model for other communities

FAREWELL AND WELCOME

Following the end of the education project supported by Irish Aid through CMS Ireland in partnership with Lambeth Palace the Provincial office said farewell to the Rev. Pascal Bigirimana who has been responsible for coordinating it.

The project has included the reconstruction and construction of classrooms and facilities for primary and secondary schools, support for head teachers, and the development of a curriculum for moral and religious education at primary level.

Rev. Pascal Bigirimana has had a long involvement with the Province and was previously Provincial Secretary. The staff of the Provincial office is grateful for all he has contributed to the work of the Province and wishes him well as he continues his ministry in other areas.

André Bizoza joined the staff at the beginning of July as a consultant from Solidarité Protestante Belge to support the monitoring and evaluation of the HIV/AIDS programmes.

IN BRIEF

- The Province welcomed Stephen Lyon on behalf of the Overseas Bishoprics Fund that particularly supports the work of the bishops of the Province.

- The diocese of Muyinga has a new website that is found at www.anglicanchurchmuyinga.moonfruit.com