Social Integration of Batwa Families in Muramvya

Year Execution: 
Organization in Charge: 
Jesuit Refugee Service Burundi
Nº of Families helped: 

JRS- Grands Lacs built very simple houses in Northeast Burundi for this ethnic minority group marginalized by Bahutu and Batusi. The original shelter was precarious, made of small sticks and covered with straw or mud, and a straw roof. There was only one room for an extensive family group. For the new houses foundations were made of stone, walls of mud bricks and poles and tiles were used for the roof. One living room and separated bedrooms for parents, boys and girls guarantee privacy. After a mobilisation process 20 batwa families were selected and grouped in two small associations. Each group produced its own bricks and collaborated during the construction. By becoming homeowners the batwa have a more stable life and a social status that favors their integration to the broader community. One difficulty mentioned by JRS was to select this first group, which implied hard discussion. Another problem was the loss of materials that broke because there are no access roads and tiles had to be transported by head. Contact: Fr. Pascal NIYONKURU