of lives transformed....
Batwa in Murwi, Cibitoke
Claver is 40 years old Pygmy, married with 5 children. He joined the ICJ programme in 2018. Like many of the Pygmies in our community, he didn’t own any land and was forced to hard work in other peoples fields to get enough food and find a place to sleep for him and his family. He lived under a basic shelter made with leaves and branches located on others’ land, who he had to continue working for in order to keep his shelter there. Life was very challenging - causing Claver and his family to suffer through poor health, hygiene, nutrition, inappropriate shelter, a lack of education and medical care.
“ICJ takes care of us and empowers us in the area of knowing more about God and the way out of vulnerability.” - Claver- age 40
Widow in Ciya, Bubanza
Mama Mugisha is a 71 year old Pygmy and a widow with 8 children. Pygmy’s (Batwa) are the poorest tribe in Burundi, with little or no resources. This keeps them trapped in poverty, and working on others peoples land while they try to earn enough to survive and put food on the table. After Mama Mugisha's husband died four years ago, life has been extremely challenging. This climaxed when her house collapsed in a heavy rain storm, but fortunately she managed to escape unscathed. With no home, Mama Mugisha's was forced to make a shelter under some banana trees with just leaves and twigs. This shelter was cold, barely kept the rain out, and completely unsuitable to live in!
“RECEIVING THAT HOME WAS ONE
OF THE BEST MOMENTS IN MY LIFE.”
- Mugisha- age 71
Orphan in Ciya, Bubanza
ICJ first met Vincent when he was just a small boy aged 6. Vincent has had a tough start to life. Due to the conflict in Burundi, his family fled to DRC and ended up in a refugee camp. Sadly Vincent's father and two of the children passed away due to sickness and the horrendous conditions in the camp. Later his mother decided to move to Rwanda in hope of a better life. But again they ended up in a refugee camp, where it can be a struggle to survive, with cramped and very basic living conditions.
“AFTER THE DEATH OF
OUR PARENTS, WE DID NOT HAVE FOOD, CLOTHES OR SCHOOLS SUPPLIES. MEETING ICJ CHANGED ALL THAT!”
- Vincent- age 13
Student in Gitega
My parents did their best to raise me as Christian, but at the age of 15, due to being influenced by bad friends, I started to have immoral behaviours. I became a drunker and I got involved in taking drugs such as hemp. I also indulged in banditry until I was known everywhere in my village and in the neighbourhood. The police caught me and took me to jail. I have been punished on several occasions but my life could never change.