Burundi's civil war, which lasted from 1993 - 2005, left 300,000 dead and displaced over one million people.
The refugees returned to Burundi to rebuild their homes and livelihoods, but the country still faces tremendous challenges. Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world, ranked 180 out of 187 countries in the 2014 Human Development Index. Fifty-eight percent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition, and onne out of every ten children in Burundi dies before the age of five from a preventable disease. Over 80% of the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day.
World Relief partners with local churches to rehabilitate communities and empower the most vulnerable to rebuild their nation. Programs focus on mobilizing the church and increasing the community's health through Care Groups responding to malnutrition and disease. In addition, these programs are providing sustainable financial services and enhancing agriculture production, resulting in both increased income and nutritional value.
Church Mobilization/Integral Mission
Community Health (including HIV/AIDS prevention)
Families for Life, Agriculture for Life & Savings for Life programs
- World Relief's programs in Burundi began in 2004.
- More than 2,800 volunteers and 300 church leaders have been trained in community health.
- Since 2009, more than 100,000 women and men have been empowered with financial techniques through Savings for Life—implemented by World Relief and its partner Dutaburane.
- In 2015, 281 Community Health Workers treated over 26,000 cases of malaria and 5,000 cases of diarrhea, some of the leading causes of death for children in Burundi.
- Working with churches and volunteers, the Families for Life Program helps community members strengthen marriages, empower women and promote healthy families, laying a strong foundation for other development initiatives.
JJ Ivaska, Country Director
Francois Niyitegeka, Program Operations Director
Emile Niyungeko, Community Education Specialist