Beginner English Book Is Going to Press!

From Executive Director Julie Marner BFI is on the verge of providing high-quality beginner English teaching manuals to our volunteer teachers. These are absolutely essential. Gone are the days of smaller classroom sizes – and by small, I mean 35 students. Today each class is jam-packed with 50-70 kids, teens, young adults, and farmers, all learning English side-by-side. With 30,000 …

Ashleigh Montgomery : Sisterhood

As a volunteer with BFI in Burundi in 2014, I met a young woman who would become a dear friend. In a classroom exercise in Burundi’s oldest English Club, Julie Marner orchestrated an exercise asking youth to challenge the status quo and imagine a world in which it is predominantly women holding traditional leadership roles. The overwhelming male response was …

Furaha Yassin : A Smile of Women

Furaha Yassin is the co-founder and President of Women Vision Association. BFI was lucky enough to meet Furaha in 2014 in Bujumbura. “I learn first about BFI when I got an invitation from a BFI Volunteer to take part in the BFI Women’s Panel, organized by Ashleigh, July, Michelle, who are BFI members.” Furaha led WVA in their first major …

Freshly Roasted for the Season: Burundi Coffee – Ground or Whole Bean

Freshly roasted Burundi coffee is available throughout the holiday season, but quantities are limited. Great gift idea, or a way to make any holiday gathering more special. Share the story of BFI, and some delicious Burundi coffee with your friends and family this year! You can order it below and we’ll ship to your door: Select “Whole Bean” or “Ground” …

The Music of Hope in Burundi – Suzuki Style!

From Executive Director, Julie Marner I first met Aime in 2010 while visiting the orphanage he lived in, My Father’s House.  We sang to each other that day and a musical friendship was born.  In 2011, Aime and I spent time learning piano chords together on his portable synthesizer and in 2013, I recall singing and performing together for street …

Open Minds, Open Hearts, New Potential

BFI made new friends and gained supporters of all ages on a recent East Coast Tour by Executive Director, Julie Marner, and BFI English Club President, Fabrice Bizimana.  Julie and Fabrice were graciously hosted by BFI supporter, Dr. Fiona Mills, Social Science and English Faculty at Proctor Academy in Andover, New Hampshire. It was a fun and enlightening week for …

Davis Project for Peace

BFI and FUCOS Complete “Davis Project for Peace” The “Davis Project for Peace” was a collaboration between Burundi Friends International and FUCOS with the goal of planting seeds towards sustainable peace through training 50 youth community members in each Peace and Reconciliation Workshop in provinces throughout Burundi. Training was offered in 4 Provinces: Gitega, Bubanza, Bururi, and Bujumbura.  200 youth …

BFI 2016 Strategic Planning Weekend

The BFI Board and several volunteers met over the weekend of September 16-18 in San Diego to discuss and implement a 3 year plan and begin discussions for BFI’s 10 Year Anniversary in 2017. The retreat was facilitated by Cindy Petersen Ed.M., and began with a review of BFI’s history and the lessons we’ve learned from each experience. Our fundraising …

Burundi Coffee – September 2016

Freshly Roasted Gourmet Coffee! BFI now delivers delicious Burundi coffee to your doorstep! Order whole bean or ground and receive a 12-ounce package of coffee known for its intense body and sweetness. It also makes a unique gift for family members and friends. Many thanks to Acoustic Java of Worcester, MA, and Café Moto of San Diego, CA. They help …

BFI Teacher Wins Scholarship

Three years ago, 19-year-old Landry Ndayikeje joined a BFI English Club in Bujumbura. His intense desire to learn and sharp mind helped him to advance quickly. Landry is now one of our 460 valued English Club teachers who work with more than 8,000 students across 13 provinces. Eager to try his new skills, Landry recently entered an English essay contest …