FACES OF HOPE

All our actions, all our energy, all our work have only one goal: to see faces full of hope!
Here are a few testimonies of these Faces of Hope.

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Faces of Hope

Thérèse Ndayishimiye

Thérèse Ndayishimiye

My name is Thérèse Ndayishimiye. I used to be a slave living in the bush with no real home. It was hard to even come out because people could kill me. It was a dangerous place and a dangerous time. Even when I had a baby no one was able to come and see me so we could celebrate.

Now there is hope for me ! I have a house. It’s surrounded by banana plantations and other vegetation. Now I go to the hospital to give birth. Now people come to congratulate me and we celebrate ! I have joy in my life with my husband.

Faces of Hope

Ntazina Bosco (Viyizigiro)

Ntazina Bosco

My parents called me Ntazina – which means « no name ». Their situation was so bad when I was born, they had no energy to name me, no hope for their own future or mine. They were surrounded by so much poverty. But now I am leading a village ! We have a proper school and clean water. I have a job at that school and my kids study there. No my neighbors no longer call me Ntazina ; they’ve given me a new name. My name is Viyizigiro – which means hope. I’ve gone from no name and no hope to a man who represents hope for so many!

Faces of Hope

Léonie Nizigiyimana

Léonie Nizigiyimana

My name is Leonie Nizigyimana. I used to have no hope of living. I considered myself a nobody. I spent all day carrying clay to make pots. When it rained, I slept in the puddles. But my kids could not go to school when it rained because all their books and homework got wet. Now I have hope ! My children are finishing school ! I have a place to live and eat and provide for my children.

Faces of Hope

Francois Nduwabike President The Batwa Community at Matara

Francois Nduwabike

The love you showed us gave us an exemple of how to love our neighbours unconditionnaly. Your love to us made us feel human for the first time in our lives. Today our neighbors look at us as people, as human beings. Your gifts to us are many but the love you’ve shown us surpasses them all. Your love gave us confidence to believe in ourselves our mothers and our children. Today we walk in confidence knowing that with God everything is possible.

Life before Matara for us was a life that we don’t ever want to forget because we don’t want to ever go back to it ! We weren’t considered human before by our neighbors but now our neighbors want us to lead them. Before we were called Batwa Batwa – used as an insult – but now they call us Bashingantahe – « those who live an exemplary life » – and they want us to lead at the school, in the community, and recently they’ve even asked us to resolve legal disputes in the community.

God used you, our friends, not just to help us but to help Burundi.

Faces of Hope

Godèce Nibigira

Godèce Nibigira

My name is Godèce Nibigira. I used to live a seriously bad life – I was a slave to somebody. I lived in a small house and when it rained the school books got spoiled. I was sleeping in the same room with my children and my husband – I was something shameful.

Now I have hope because I have a home with lots of space, where I don’t have to share the same room and I have a proper room for just my husband and me. I’ve also been elected by the community to head the education committee of the schools of Matara. This would have never been possible before!

Faces of Hope

Madebari Prosper

Madebari Prosper

My name is Madebari Prosper. The Batwa people lived in terrible conditions across the country. We were treated like slaves with no rights, no freedom. I had no land, no food to eat.

I see hope when I look at my house in Matara. I have a proper home for my family. We have land that we cultivate and harvest, plenty of good food to eat. No one discriminates me in Matara. Even when there is a party – I am welcomed!

Faces of Hope

Domitilia

Domitilia

My name is Domitilia. I came to Bubanza running away from trouble as a refugee. The government gave us a plot of land to live on, but then moved us so they could make a way for a cementary.

Seeing God do miracles has given me hope. Our community now has clean water. Now I can drink clean water ! I fetch it from a well close by my house. My children go to a good school – and I know my grandchildren will go to school there one day ! I could have never done any of this alone. God brought us good friends!

Faces of Hope

Jean Bosco Niyongabo

Jean Bosco Niyongabo

My name is Jean Bosco Nyiongabo. I didn’t have a happy family life. My father died when I was a baby and I never knew him. My mother moved on in life without me. What hope was there for me?

But now many call me king ! I have a home and land. I grow things and feed my family – something that was never possible before. My wife used to give birth in the bush – now she goes to the hospital when our children come ! I learned at Matara that I am a businessman. Many friends see me as an example and learn from me. I hope to buy a car someday. I thank God for plucking me out of that bad place and giving me a fresh start.

Faces of Hope

Iribuka Sarah

Iribuka Sarah

Iribuka was the first baby born in Matara. In a community where names can convey anything from despair to hope, we watched with awe as the parents named her Iribuka ; which means God has remembered.

Faces of Hope

Nathaniel Ntahimpera

Nathaniel Ntahimpera

My name is Nathaniel Ntahimpera. I was someone who did not own land. Seven members of my family died of malaria – because we could not go to the hospital for treatment. This is when I entered into serious poverty. I had a job as a policeman, but even that dit not help me escape poverty.

Now my life has changed. I live in a very big house. I am a citizen with rights. I have my own land. I was elected to the administration of Matara by both Hutu and Tutsi neighbors – a first for a Batwa person ! I am also an evangelist, a man amazed by what God has done and continues to do for me. God has replaced my sorrow with joy.