Following the civil war in Burundi from 1993-2006, many widows and children sought refuge in the capital, Bujumbura. The widows sent their children to beg in the streets and often resorted to prostitution. Turi Wacu, which means "We are together", is a project initiated by local people to provide these families with an alternative to their previous lifestyle.
Under the direction of a social worker and a Family/HIV-AIDS worker, it provides business start-up grants for the women as well as emergency healthcare, help with housing and school fees for the children.
The project aims to enable these widows to be self-supporting and already ten families have managed this. The project is built on the value of the women supporting each other within an association and of women from the local community and abroad coming alongside them to encourage, teach and inspire them to live new lives. Many of them have started to follow Jesus Christ.
Turiwacu former street women who were rescued from begging and prostitution in 2006 are still proving able to support themselves and their children, although they do need inputs into their small businesses from time to time.
Most recently (February 2019), Joselyne and Alida have visited Turiwacu groups in both Kinama and Kanyosha to run awareness sessions on Project Cotex (you will see a link to this project on the left margin of this page). Selling these packs will provide another means of generating income, as well as providing a real service to the women and girls in their communities.
Kanyosha group also rented a field with a grant of 160,000FBu to grow crops and now have food for their families for the next little while.
They send thanks and blessings!
In Kinama, several ladies have been able to use emergency grant money to purchase much-needed medication and glasses. Pictured here, Anatolie, Godebelte and Perousie.