Burundi is a small landlocked country in East Africa bordered by Rwanda, The Congo and Tanzania. Due to persistent civil unrest, ethnic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS, Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries, with over 80% of the population living below the poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day. Education is also a major issue in Burundi with only 12% of children receiving a secondary education, a figure that would be much lower for the Deaf.
Educational Program in Burundi
In 2022, Deaf Action began to sponsor students at the Ephphatha School for the Deaf. This school has 13 DeafBlind students who Deaf Action are supporting to enable them to have the special education they need.
Our staff travel to integrated and hearing schools and to teach sign language, as well as to villages. They provide HIV/AIDS awareness and training and encourage the Deaf to become engaged in self-sustainability projects.
Deaf Action is also active in various development projects in Burundi including providing joineries for Deaf carpenters to run their own businesses.
We have founded 12 sewing workshops, giving employment for dozens of women (primarily) who provide a service to the community and are able to sustain their families. The workshops are wonderfully successful. The ladies periodically gift excess profits back to the Deaf community.
We developed a farming project in 2022 which employs 6 Deaf people. Growing mainly soya and corn, the farm produces food for the Deaf and an income which helps sustain the Deaf community.
Ministry in Burundi
DMI has planted 6 Deaf churches in Burundi that minister to over 400 people each week. As well as allowing the Deaf to gather for worship and hear the Word of God, the churches are a focus for the community life of the Deaf. 9 evangelists are working to plant new churches and spread the message of God’s love throughout the Deaf community, including teaching scripture and sign in Deaf and integrated schools.