Economic Empowerment


Beyond English, our students are venturing into the next step by creating small businesses. By forming small savings groups of 5 individuals (G5’s), each group pools money toward a common goal. With as little as $70, short term goals can be reached — planting tomatoes and rice, or raising chickens or rabbits. The financial results from these smaller projects enable longer term goals — raising goats, pigs, and cows — to be attained.

Currently, we have over 1,000 G5 groups throughout Burundi. It’s not all about money, the groups help create UNITY too. What’s their motto? Together We Can!


Savings Groups

BFI is empowering women and youth through a partnership with the San Diego based non-profit organization Project Concern International (PCI). In collaboration, PCI’s Women Empowered (WE) Initiative has been launched in Burundi with the goal of empowering and supporting Burundians as they lift themselves out of extreme poverty. For more information about PCI, please visit

WE is a two-year project encouraging women and youth to save money, learn financial planning, and become leaders in their communities. WE groups begin with 15- 20 women coming together to support and build one another up. Weekly, each participant contributes to a savings fund. Over time, group members invest in one another with micro-loans. In addition to saving weekly, women learn skills like problem-solving and action planning that they use to make positive changes in their households and communities. BFI in-country staff ensures a safe environment, teaches programming, provides accountability, and encourages the social connection of each group.


BFI Hands No Pad


Burundi Friends International (BFI) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.  We invite you to contact us to volunteer and join in our work to end poverty and create self-sustaining opportunities for Burundi, or donate to support BFI’s mission.