It is Training Day in Matara – Micro-finance training, that is. This week a well-respected micro-finance trainer from the region is on site and teaching our families about the principles of micro-finance loans. He is addressing both women and men, with a keen eye on the women, who tend to be the most industrious when it comes to initiating local enterprises. He is hoping to equip them with the basic understanding required to begin a micro-finance program. Joining him is Donatien, a new member to the CFB team, who will be managing the program. The original idea was to launch this endeavor in Year Three of the project, but we have decided to move this to Year One to accelerate the opportunity to make this a self-sustaining community sooner, rather than later.While the training on micro-finance was quite engaging… you can see that our photographer (aka Claude) gravitated toward the smaller members of the community! They seemed to be filled with smiles, giggles and a general playfulness.Meanwhile, the crops are growing…
It has been awhile since I’ve posted a story or photos. So I guess it is time for a quick update!
Things are going well in Matara these days. The crops are planted and, under the soil recently watered with rain, growing. Now Claude, our agricultural engineer, is making plans for the first harvest. We have several weeks, but we have several crops to harvest, store and get to market. As it will be a first – this means thinking of ‘how to’ as well as anticipating ‘what if.’
How can you pray for the families in Matara:
~ pray for an abundant harvest, an orderly time of harvesting and selling, and no thieves disrupting the harvest.
~ pray for health as some struggle with malaria, eye infections, back aches and such.
~ pray for deepening relationships among the families, that they will love and respect one another and care for each other. Also pray for an infusion of energy and enthusiasm to keep them working together in good spirits for the season to come!
We have an addition to the student house this term – two teachers! This husband and wife team are trained educators with experience in teaching secondary students. We have brought them on to assist the students in learning the best study habits, addressing any gaps in understanding on key subjects and advocating for them in the school system. They are also helping evaluate each student so that we can work with each one to chart a successful way forward.
Right now there is an additional challenge for our secondary students enrolled in public schools as well as those in the public primary school up country. There is a teachers strike affecting all public school teachers. No one knows how long this will last. The younger children in Matara are remaining in the village, as there are no teachers in the classrooms to teach them. As for secondary schools in Matara and Bujumbura, the students still go to class each day to study. Sometimes there is a principal around to oversee the ’study hall’ other times they just work independently. But the strike is not good for the students, slowing their progress as the weeks go by.
How can you pray for the students:
~ pray for the strike to end so all students in Burundi public schools can return to learning.
~ pray for the students to have ample energy, enthusiasm and drive to work hard on their education.
~ pray for continued health for the students, so that none will be crippled by illness as they work to further their education this term.
Thank you for praying with us for goodness to grow in Matara and at the student house in the days and weeks to come.