One of our Burundian WONDER WOMEN working with BFI is Odette. She along with Michella, Esperance and Estella are very active in our Women’s Empowerment Clubs. We recently reached out to our donors asking for funding for a training trip to Rwanda for these women. Their trip included sessions at the GASHORA GIRLS ACADEMY (GGAST), a school that partners with local and international institutions in providing superior education for girls in farming, technology, community involvement and leadership, NEW EXPLORERS GIRLS ACADEMY, a private girl’s school specializing in STEM, and MWENDO SCHOOL, a remote primary school.

On this trip, these women were taught how available technology can be used to support and improve the farming activities already in place in Burundi. At MWENDE PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, located in a poor area of Rwanda, they saw how the students were able to advance and prepare for using technology in their learning even before that technology is available to them. Many areas of Burundi (as well as Rwanda) do not have the infrastructure necessary for advanced technology. It is vital that students be prepared for it when it does come. As Odette puts it the technology “is completely life changing for our community” since it will allow the students to go to college and compete in the job market with their global contemporaries.

The schools they visited are working demonstrations of how to plan, prepare for and create educational opportunities that are the key to furthering the development of Burundi, and ending the extreme poverty that exists there. Our students are very eager to move forward, and the training that Odette and her colleagues got on this trip is vital to helping them activate these possibilities in their communities.

We are indebted to Professor Gerri Light and the University of Pennsylvania for the active partnership and support of this training trip. They are very generous in sharing their connections, knowledge and resources.

The next CRITICAL step in this process is to fund the purchase of phones, computers and software so that this important work can continue. Thank you for your generosity.


Odette; “Together we can transform Burundi”