OUR IMPACT STORIES
FRUITS OF STEWARDSHIP TRAINING
In Nyamurenge, Celestine is working with 15 groups of 25 members. There has been great progress in both food production and stewardship. During a visit, many participants were eager to share about their activities.
Marie said that after steward leadership training her group of all women came together. They appreciate savings and loans because they can borrow for problems like school fees and other things such as animals. They have bought each member a pig for money and manure, which they use to supplement the chemical fertilizers from the government. They make hospital visits and grow mushrooms for food for their children and themselves, as well as to sell them for money.
Celestine had given Patrick’s group 8 days of steward leadership training prior to every participant being given 4 mushroom spawns. The group decided to keep all the spawns together and, at harvest time, allowed everyone ½ kg. for tasting and then sold the rest. They invested about half of the profits from this sale to purchase an additional 4 spawns, bought 14 pigs from their savings.
They helped a widow whose house was damaged by a tree falling with money to make bricks, and again later to fight a fire in her home.
They have provided food for those in hospital; elderly men and women; and people with disabilities.
They have helped repair leaking roofs.
“I mean simply to say that ultimately our greatest joy is when we seek to do good for others… It’s how we are made. I mean we are wired to be compassionate… We are wired to be caring for the other and generous to one another. We shrivel when we are not able to interact… We depend on the other in order for us to be fully who we are… The concept we have here at home, Ubuntu, says: A person is a person through other persons… Ubuntu says when I have a small piece of bread, it is for my benefit that I share it with you. Because, after all, none of us came into the world on our own.” (Desmond Tutu)
–His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy, p. 59-60
SUCCESS IN GROUP OF 25
Participants share how working in groups of 25 after their stewardship training has impacted their lives.
One group constructed a bridge.
“We were poor before with no heart of helping. Now we can work for others, bring food and provide money for transport to the hospital. Once we were many groups but now we can build a mushroom house – we have raw materials and are ready to start. We want to move forward and there is nothing like mushrooms to give money.”
One man said that the group agreed to support me with my sick wife who later died. Even after her death they didn’t stop. They came back and helped me with my kids, so I saw that steward leadership is very good.
“In Nov. I was sick on my leg, and they helped me with medications.”
One lady spoke who had a tumor and needed to go to a bigger hospital. She had a paper for vulnerable people and had an operation. She was sent back home, and the local hospital would not recognize the paper, so the group helped her to be treated at the local hospital.
A woman said she’d been helped with food.
A woman said she was helped with a leaking roof. She went on to request more help as her husband is sick and she has many problems.
“As you can see, so many are grateful to BDs for bringing together many families; no other organization has brought together people in this way. The reason for our nearness is steward leadership. We used to think we could not move; now 25 come together in groups and think what we can do. If you come in 2027 there will be no one with a grass roof house
DRAWN TO THE MARGINS - PASTOR ROSE
Pastor Rose rejoices at positive changes in the Musama community that resulted from her teaching on
steward leadership. Now organized in savings and loan groups, people come together to help others.
With hearts of compassion, they have built a house for someone who used to sleep outdoors, provided
food to a widower with a disabled child, and donated money to help a woman with roofing.
The money for these and other projects, as well as individual loans, was generated from growing and
selling mushrooms from six mushroom houses. The loans enabled people to buy hoes, pigs, rabbits and
The local government hill leader sees people now “looking smart” because of development activities,
access to water, and working toward the dream of President Ndayishimiye“..that every mouth should
have something to eat and every pocket should have something to buy.”
Rose is also drawn to two marginalized Batwa communities where Burundi Development Solutions
supported latrine construction. She teaches Sunday School, ethics, and hygiene as she helps families
navigate the realities of living alongside the larger Burundian community.
FINDING JOHN - FABIEN
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. - Job 12:22
Fabien, is a community mobilizer who works with villagers with disabilities. Challenged by a disability himself, he has a passion for searching for the disabled in communities.
Too often they are an embarrassment to their families and are hidden away from the community. One such child, John, was concealed in his family’s home and locked there when the other children went to school. His mother is deceased and the father works in another
place so during the day no one is home. He is kept in the house because of safety and also shame.
Fabien found and brought John into the village and began spending time with him. They celebrated Christmas together by sharing a banana. With Fabien’s
encouragement and presence, John now is spending more time out of the house in the village with his brothers and sisters. - Ephesians 8-11
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to
discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, butinstead expose them.
STEWARDSHIP SPREADS - PASTOR HERVE
Pastor Herve a mobilizer with Burundi Development Solutions (BDS) shared
an emotional visit to one community.
"We saw people who struggle to meet their own nutritional needs sharing food with the elderly and disabled. My team of community mobilizers were touched to see people giving of their own meager resources to bless others.
To see the joy and hope in the eyes of the recipients gives me joy to be a part of BDS.”