It is important to not only communicate all that we have accomplished to date, but to look back upon these projects and milestones and the foundation they have established.
Burundi Friends International continues to grow at a rapidly planned rate. We invite you to look back with us, as we look forward!
2018 deepened our efforts in both education and economic empowerment.
In partnership with Project Concern International (PCI), we implemented weekly training for over 200 women in financial literacy, savings and community development using PCI’s savings methodology, Women Empowered (WE). Click here to learn more about its ongoing success.
Our 42 young leaders receiving college tuition assistance are advancing in their studies. The upcoming years of 2019-2020 will see completion of studies and distribution of diplomas. Their journey will only be starting, as they pursue their dreams of utilizing their studies to advance community development across Burundi.
Beyond BFI English Clubs, all branches of education expanded in 2018 including healthcare,
environment, women’s empowerment, and much more. BFI’s greatest impact, supporting individuals and communities in peace and unity, remains steadfast.
- 54,033 Students served
- 2,293 Volunteers in all 18 provinces
- 42 College Scholarships, 4 of which are Graduate Students.
- 644 BFI Economic Empowerment Groups
- 299 Women’s Economic Groups
- 60 PCI WE Savings Groups
2017 marked our ten year anniversary of fighting poverty and serving the people of Burundi. We used this year as a chance to reevaluate all of the successes, and really focus on what we excel at; education and economic empowerment. Our successes in 2017 include:
- 33,000 students served in basic English education, including Children’s and Youth Departments
- 3,208 Volunteer Instructors in all 18 provinces
- 42 College Scholarships, 4 of which are Graduate Students
- 3 Mandela Washington Fellows
- BFI Clubs formed from English Education – Environment, Health, Sport & Culture, IT, & Leadership
- BFI Economic Empowerment Groups, “Saving Together, Growing Together”
- PCI Women’s Empowerment Program – launched by BFI & partner Project Concern International
- 557 Groups of Five BFI Student Savings Groups
- 299 Women’s Economic Groups – 15 to 20 women in each group
2016 saw Julie’s installation as Executive Director, the start of our BFI Monthly Newsletter and the new format of our Annual Report, as well as Julie’s trip to Paraguay to study Economic Foundations in Developing Countries. Our projects in 2016 include:
- 3rd container of books through Books for Africa, 10 computers
- Education Fund
- English Clubs (Over 16,000 members / 15 Provinces)
- International House Grant for Peace – $10,000
- Davis Peace and Reconciliation Project
- Converted another container into library
- Ityazo Elementary School – Project to Implement Rest Room Facilities
- Women’s coffee growers
- Milling Machine, flour/food for 35 women, 175 individuals
- Container of Medical Equipment and Supplies
- Maternity clinic, ANSS
- Project C.U.R.E.
2015 brought new political tensions and challenges for Burundians. There were periods where BFI English Clubs could not meet. There were some major accomplishments including Fabrice Bizimana’s visit as a “Washington Mandela Fellowship” participant and his visits across the US. The East and West Coast BFI Teams held several speaking engagements supported by our new part-time Administrative Assistant Melissa. BFI hosted several projects at area schools that raised money to support a new BFI Library in country, as well as Goats for our ongoing economic development programs. We accepted donations for Burundian Coffee at several successful events.
Projects for 2015 included:
3rd container of books through Books for Africa
3rd library, BFI library in Bubanza
- first college graduate, Karorero Xavier
- 10 student scholarships
BFI English Clubs
- serving 3,600 youth
- bicycles and cell phones for teachers
International Peace Day
BAIA – funding for students suffering hardship in current situation
Ityazo Elementary School – New doors and windows
Project Concern International (PCI) – train the trainer, VSLA
COPED, council for Education and Development – literacy/raising animals
Projects for Burundi Refugees in San Diego
2nd medical container arrives, ANSS, VHW
Resilient Communities International (RCI)
2014 witnessed in-country visits by Julie, Prosper and Alice. BFI Board Member information was formalized including bylaws and associated contracts. Jeanine, Julie and Alice led several speaking engagements and fundraising activities. 2014 also brought the active engagement of Burundian Diaspora as well as an increased social media presence on Instagram and Twitter. A video regarding BFI’s efforts was completed (you can see it on our home page). 2014 Projects included:
2nd container of 22,000 books through Books for Africa
10 computers for English Medical Club at National University
Continue conversion of 1st container into library
BFI English Clubs
- 54 Clubs
- 9 provinces
- serving 2,500 students
- 10 libraries
- Assisted with funding for testing fees
- Trained 45 BFI English teachers
Additional Contributions to BFI Burundian Education Fund
Youth Empowerment Program
Project Concern International Global (PCI)
Train the trainer
Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA)
Local San Diego NGO
Work with COPED – Council for Education and Development
- Literacy project
Continued contributions to International Women’s Coffee Growers Association (IWCA)
- BFI Donation of new kid goats to neighboring farmers
Assessed needs of new medical equipment
Prepared for shipment of 2nd medical container
2013 brought an increase in BFI speaking engagements (churches, schools, community events). BRI produced its first newsletter and first annual report. Julie and 4 volunteers visited Burundi and significant gains were achieved in the development of our donor database including categorization.
Container of 22,000 books shipped by Books for Africa
BFI English Clubs
- 12 Clubs
- serving over 800 students
- 4 provinces
Container turned into a Library in Burundi
- UCSD Global Ties Program
New Generation – work supporting street children
Education Fund, $100/month
Goat Project, IWCA
- BFI contributes 220 goats to women coffee growers
- BFI’s Response to the Marketplace Fire: $5000 donation
2012 brought continued expansion and awareness of BFI’s mission. Committees were formed, and volunteer recruitment was begun. 2012 brought increased awareness through speaking engagements by Jeanine and Julie. Julie produced the Christmas CD “Wake Up and Give” – a very successful fundraiser. Planning and initial funding began for a container with books for a library through Books for Africa.
BFI opened a bank account in Burundi in 2011, accompanied by Julie’s visit in-country. The foundation was established for the continued development of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee with the clarification of roles and responsibilities and a nominating committee, as well as an evaluation of required skills and proposed terms for Board Members. 2011 saw the filing of the first BFI tax return, as well as a new level of fundraising through local churches and fundraisers hosted by BFI supporters. Paul Turner conducted a strategic planning session with BFI leadership.
New Project Started: Container (medical/books), through Village Health Works
Current Projects: Current projects: WCFD, Kirari Village, WISE and Sara Orphanage
2010 brought expansion to the BFI team with 10 new Board members. A trip to Burundi with many board members helped to facilitate the development of a more focused mission and goals for what BFI would become. 2010 witnessed the development of a new BFI website (www.bufri.org) as well as the ability to accept credit card donations through the website. The BFI logo was completed in 2010 as well as a new blog. A post card campaign combined with an Ive Evans concert led fundraising efforts for the year. Jeanine spoke at the BANA Conference.
Current projects: WCFD, Kirari Village, WISE
New project: Sara Orphanage
BFI gained tax exempt status in 2009, and the project to develop our Logo was begun. The primary activities of the organization included community awareness and a push to recruit volunteers. Fundraising efforts featured “Drumming, Dancing and Dessert” with Burundian Drummers as well as the Burundian Dance and Mandolin Orchestra as well as the selling of notecards.
Established first 2 projects: WCFD, Kirari village
Established WISE – to provide micro-loans for women
In 2008, a new 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization establishes (Burundi Support Foundation) Burundi Friends International. The BFI Mission Statement was established, and a new domain was purchased for the organization: www.bufri.org; 7 Board members and officers were elected and a bank account was opened for the new entity. Fundraising efforts included a golf tournament, wine tasting and silent auction.
Provision of Sewing machines, WCFD,
Kirari village – building supplies for teacher’s houses
The first ever meeting for what would become Burundi Friends International was held in May of 2007. There were 6 original members led by Jeanine and the name “Friends of Burundi” was agreed upon. Research was begun to learn about the organization or a non-profit, as well as a needs assessment and discussion of potential projects for the organization to support and NGOs that the new organization should support.