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 …

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 …

BFI unloading books in Burundi Container Arrives

Books Container Arrives in Burundi

In 2015, your generosity helped BFI to fill a giant shipping container with English books and computers to support education in Burundi. But civil unrest in Burundi put the next steps on hold. Happily, we were able to ship in early 2016. This July, BFI successfully delivered 22,000 books (557 boxes), 10 laptop computers, 15 e-readers, 2 boxes of board …

What does the BFI donation of a Milling Machine Mean in Burundi Africa?

BFI Milling Machine Brings Food, Income, and Peace to Kaniga Villagers

Great things grow from small seeds. For two dedicated men, a seed was planted in the refugee camps of Tanzania. Community services supervisor Lameck Nyabenda and social worker Ntibatuma Syldie were helping refugees who had fled from civil war in Burundi to the camps of Tanzania. The men decided that they must continue their work of building communities and educating …

Together, We Bring Hope and Health to the Poorest of the Poor

You cannot help but be inspired by Léonard Ngendakumana. This man of vision and compassion dedicates his life to improving the lives of his fellow Burundians. Léonard is a driving force in FUCOS (Force des Universitaires Contre le SIDA et Promotion de la Santé), an organization created in 2000 to fight the transmission and spread of HIV, promote sexual/reproductive health …

BFI Supports Qualified Burundians for College

Amani Esperance: Dreams Do Come True!

It starts with a dream. Amani Esperance is a young Burundian woman with big dreams. “I come from a poor family but I got a chance of going to school with all the love and support of my parents, though life is hard. My family is founded on love.” Amani is proud of who she is and where she comes from, …