Poverty and poor health are strongly intertwined. In Burundi, where nearly 65% of the population lives in poverty, many families are trapped in a cycle of poverty little hope of progress. Our economic development programs address the determinants of poverty by empowering community members with skills and tools to start small businesses. Cooperatives such as agriculture, sewing, baking, and fishing allow community members to generate incomes while providing important services and products to the community. With input from community members, we will continue the expansion of our economic cooperatives.
Our economic development program empowers community members to participate in the local economy in order to alleviate the health burdens of poverty.
$9,359 USD in gross profits benefited the local community
5 economic cooperatives running to support the local economy:
48 people trained at bakery co-op
30 farming and livestock co-ops, and 50 household gardens
18 people trained at sewing co-op
17 fishery co-ops
2 beekeeping co-ops
Imelde is a 62-year-old farmer and member of the Jijuka fishing cooperative who is raising her four grandchildren on her own. Working with the fishing co-op has been a blessing for Imelde, enabling her to pay for her grandchildren’s school expenses in addition to improving their diet and buying them new clothes. Imelde now hopes to save money and purchase cows so that her grandchildren can have access to nourishing milk on a daily basis.
Our agriculture and nutrition program provides healthy food for our patients, educates the community on farming practices, and empowers people to nourish their bodies via a diverse diet.
624farmers, both agriculture and fish, are now applying improvedfarming methods and management practices
39,000pounds of food produced by our onsite food security programand distributed to patients at the clinic or sold for profit
1,000people participated in nutrition education seminars
Our agriculture programs are essential in the promotion of healthy communities and in breaking the cycle of poverty. Through our new Nutrition Education Center that opened in 2017, community members and patients learn how to cultivate a home garden rich in nutrients, empowering them to expand their diets beyond the cassava root. We promote sustainable land use to preserve the longevity of farming possibilities and assist the community in raising animals for a reliable milk source. Also in 2017, we had a breakthrough in the introduction of artificial insemination at our fish farm on campus. This means that the farm will yield more fish, enabling the community to have even greater access to this protein-rich food and to sell the excess for profit. Healthy bodies and minds depend on quality nutrition, which is why our agriculture program is invaluable in advancing our health and education efforts.
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