It would be easy to assume that everything in Burundi is at a stand still, given the current political climate in the country and all the disheartening news reports. We might be tempted to forget that months ago a trade school was under construction and hope for more community members to advance was planted in the fertile soil of this place. But while our attention might have been on the headlines in the news – goodness was growing in the hills of Bubanza!
In early April the construction of the Trade School was completed. Since then we’ve continued to work on other necessary elements so of the school – like selecting Bernice as the new director of the eductational enterprise, deciding on the elegibility requirements for student selection and creating a solid curriculm.
Just this past week Bernice and Joseph recruited over 125 community members who wanted to register for the Trade School. All were subjected to basic testing based on criteria the team created to determine viability for this program. 95 people (37 women and 58 men) passed the testing and interview components of the application process. So this is our inagural class!
The curriculum for the Trade School will offer general classes like adult literacy in Kirundi, basic French, basic English, math and accounting. Trades to be offered will include bicycle mechanics, construction, agriculture, sewing and soap making. Our hope it to provide students with the basic skill set necessary to run their own business – be it a family enterprise or a cooperative venture with other community members.
Classes begin in September! We cannot wait to see the capacity of these men and women expand and their community move forward toward greater sustainability and real hope.