As in the UK, the school in Burundi is closed for the summer holidays. Soon the children will return for a new school year, eager to learn and fill their curious minds.
The last year has imposed many challenges on the school and the staff. A decrease in funding has brought the school to the edge of surviving, forcing us to work with a decreased amount of staff and even cutting back on the porridge programme. Although providing a daily meal for the children is one of our main goals, in this extreme situation the focus was to be able to keep the school doors open, to avoid that children would have to work and end up on the streets. Faced with all these difficulties, we decided to put all our combined forces into the procurement of new funding solutions to make the programme more resilient and be able to provide full support to all children.
Our efforts have paid off and we can start now with more positivity and new goals into the new school year. We are overly happy and a big stone has fallen off our shoulders, when we heard the good news, that we would receive funding to run the porridge feeding programme for a whole year! The children will receive a warm meal every day, filling up their tummies and making sure they will be able to learn more and focus better.
It is also very exciting because it gives us the freedom to focus on other things that have long been outstanding and very important. With the children cared for, it is now our major concern to help the school become more self-sustainable. The goal is to set up the vocation training again, help mothers to learn new skills such as sewing and to generate an income from selling the goods made during the workshop. As the sewing machines have been destroyed during the floods last year, our next step will be to buy new ones, so the classes can take place again. Another long term goal is to set up a community garden, that will provide food for the school meals and help to create financial stability by selling the surplus vegetables.
There are many things to do and the work never stops! It is still a long way to go but we are excited and positive for everything that the new school year will bring. Join us on the journey and help us to make the school as well as the whole community more resilient.
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