The game of cricket is a popular sport in many former British colonies. During the game if the umpire signals ‘not OUT’! It’s a sigh of relief. It’s Game on!
This is a personal testimony of Ildephonse Niyokindi, our Student Tuition Educational Program/ Children of Peace (STEP COP) coordinator in Burundi.
We know that education changes lives…
At least 15% of school dropouts are reported each year in Burundi. The reasons are many but they include lack of motivation, school materials and in some cases harsh poverty conditions. Although education is free in public basic schools, many children still drop out. The STEP/ Children of Peace Project supports and promotes education of underprivileged children from Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe and provides supplemental training in peace building and conflict resolution. Launched in 2018 in Burundi, this program has provided over 150 children with school supplies and extra lessons. The whole family is involved since it is the family that takes the first responsibility for the future of the children.
As the ancient philosopher Confucius states
“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.’’
The village of Muhuzu, similar to many other communities in Burundi, has experienced much violence in the past. This has strained relationships between the community members. STEP COP is engaged in this village and is building peace by supporting the education of children from both an internal displacement camp and a neighboring village. As several children in the project have testified, the support is very useful for them and for their families.
“My mother struggled a lot to get school supplies for my three siblings and me. I could go to school without school uniforms and was sent out many times. I could not concentrate on the lessons, and I had bad results. Today, with the support of school uniforms, extra lessons and textbooks, I am happy to learn like other children without any problems’’ reports Dorine, one of the beneficiaries.
In addition, the parents and guardians of the children have been actively involved through self-help projects. The community now owns the program through supervision, monitoring and evaluating the whole project cycle.
Our prayers and gratitude are extended to everyone who contributes to the future of the children through the STEP COP program. May God continue to bless you.
We declare; “Not Out!
No to school dropouts in Burundi!”
Chrissy and Lance Muteyo