Social & Economic Integration of Batwa

Year Execution: 
2009
Country: 
Burundi
Organization in Charge: 
Jesuit Refugee Service Burundi
USD: 
48,148
Nº of Families helped: 
45
Zone: 
Rural
Description: 

Batwa people are a partially nomadic tribe who lives in grass huts. JRS negotiates land with government to build permanent housing for them and begin a process to integrate them into society. This project completes Project 22/07 by providing homes to 45 batwa families who were not included last year. Houses are built with adobe bricks and roof of tiles. 56 toilets were also part of this year´s project, and are an important contribution to the health of all community members. We could visit this project and corroborate that families participated in land preparation, collection of stones for foundations and adobe production. Widows and orphans were helped by other families. The village was built on a steep slope which is now being protected from erosion by communal plantations of banana trees, beans and other vegetables that also will provide food. Food is the main problem to be addressed now. Children can attend school and adults look for work now that they are no longer nomadic, but their level of malnutrition makes it difficult to sustain schooling and become productive workers. Local authorities are becoming more and more interested in the integration of the batwa tribe. Contact: Fr. Pascal Niyonkuru, nipasy@yahoo.com