A new wifi village is coming

By Canon Felix

Mubuga, Gitega, Burundi.

Printer Net Foundation invests in micro-project. This is doable in rural village where there is not access to electricity and Internet connection. After Malawi, Uganda,…, it is the round of Burundi. Since Printer Net Foundation, represented by M Ichael Josefowicz, in partnership with World Merit Burundi, represented by Nzigamasabo Léonidas choose Mubuga Village, located in Gitega Commune in Gitega Province, a new village WiFi is coming soon. At that village, a router, WiFi device, a flat TV, an inverter and other stuffs will be installed. After the agreement was made between the two organizations, Nzigamasabo Léonidas and I jumped at the village. The objective of the visit was to see if the micro investment will meet the needs of villagers. Also, in the village, we had to look for Burundi Printer Net Office. This village is big, with health center, schools, churches, shops,…. . It is situated at 21 kilometers from Gitega city. This means that from Bujumbura to the village, it is a long way: Between 140 and 150 kilometers. We had opportunity to talk with the chief of the zone, the Youth Center President and other villagers.

1. Administrative leaders convinced

Placide is the chief of the zone, after the micro-project was explained to him ; he said: »This project will enable our youth to have access to the internet. This will help us to educate them, especially in holy days. To have this project is a greater thing. We are very happy. I am seeing the signs of sustainability of our village. You are welcome in our village ».

Jean Marie Vianey, the president of Mubuga Youth Center was very glad. He said : »Since we have access to the Internet, our youth will no longer go to ligalas, but they will be trying to research informations in Google. I think you plan to bring a printer and copier machines. Here, we have many schools. This is also a challenge to us because to have exams typed, we must go to Gitega. If you have these devices, you will have many customers. I hope we will work together for the promotion of our youth education ». Nzigamasabo Léonidas explained to people the goodness of the micro-project. He explained: »This micro-project is to open the minds of young people because they will study how to use social medias, to read books, online schools and other advantages. Devices will be installed here in the village ». After the discussion related to the office of Printer Net, a conclusion was made. « The Printer Net Office of Mubuga Village is near by the Youth Center house. 40.000 BIF of rent will be paid each month. The youth center will provide us with solar panels electricity, computers, flat TV. When we will be holding an event, the youth center will be used for free. They are long chairs also. All what we have to do is to replace their damaged inverter. This one has 24 volts. To bring solution to this regulator, we decided to sell our battery in order to use that money to buy a 24 regulator. This means that right now we have at hands :

A. From Printer Net Foundation investment :

* 1 automatic inverter of 12Vols;

* 1 Vodafone mobile wifi

* 1 sim card

* 9 chargers

* 1 electric wire;

* 1 electric bulb;

* 1 battery of 70 Ampere that will be changed in regulator.

B. The Youth Center will give to us:

– a flat TV ;

– hall to hold events like teleconference

– computer

– electricity

– chairs ».

In fact, Mubuga as a Wifi village will be launched at 10th July, 2018. As it will be in holy days, teachers, pupils and other people will be invited to participate in that great event. Villagers recommended us to bring the printer /copier, to buy tele 10 or Startimes in order to show them football games like Champions League and World Cup, to bring the printer of pictures and to connect them to potential partners who can support local initiatives for young people.


Sculpture and drawing : arts to innovate in Burundi

By Renovat Ndikumwenayo

Pictures : Renovat Ndikumwenayo

Most Burundian youth are not interested in small trades. They believe that these trades are not beneficial. Therefore, those who develop their talents in this area prove the opposite. Ndikumana Felix, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, hails from Burambi commune in Rumonge Province. He holds a D6 diploma in pedagogy. We can say that his talents are innate, because he has never attended any school of art since his childhood. He says he liked drawing and toy games (statutes). In class, the drawing grade was always higher than the other courses. After high school, he decided to make sculpture and drawing a daily job. Now he considers his job the greatest of trades. He bought a plot and was able to build beautiful house. Moreover, he lives from this profession. One day, I had the opportunity to visit him at his home. My intention was to know the news of this profession supposedly worthless for some. I met him doing a work entitled « Let the children develop their talents. »

He testified: » since my childhood I was passionate about drawing and sculpture. I chose to do both of these jobs, and what surprises me too is that there is no where I’ve learned these concepts, to tell you the truth, I do the pedagogy. What I do is not what I learned at school. I’m not engaged by the state. My first capital is my head, my strengths and my weak means. I have no financial means from the State or from a Non Governmental Organization. I started with a capital of 700.000 BIF to buy the wood and the clay for the sculpture and the brushes, the leaves, the boards, plates and colors are used for decoration and drawing. This job requires a lot of strength and time.The wood must be of good quality. They are expensive, they come from far away. The debts and late payments of my customers constitute a factor of deficit return. I produce statutes used in churches, museums and works that are used in class. The status of crocodile and snake gave me fame in a competition that took place at the living museum of Bujumbura. I won the best price and I was ranked among the top 5 who make the best status.

As far as the drawing is concerned, I do wedding paintings and lovers, the signs of certain associations for the publicity of their work and so on. I often receive orders from SOCAM and COPED. They contact me whenever they want to advertise their work. Church leaders are my influential clients. I have many friends with whom we met in different seminars. As an indication, I can say those with whom we met in 2017 in a seminar that was organized by East African Community in the public garden. The plot and the house are the main income that I got from my job. Now my capital is worth a million. To make my job more beneficial to society and me, I need support. My wish is to have a training center for orphans in Rumonge and elsewhere. I will do my best to convey my knowledge.

I, too, support the idea that there may be a support for small entrepreneurs. The innovation of the art of sculpture and drawing in Burundi is indispensable. Burundian youth need to develop their talents. For that, the creation of art schools of this kind is a whole for the youth of today. The success of everything lies with copyright ».



La sculpture et le dessin : des arts à innover au Burundi

Par Renovat Ndikumwenayo Crédit photos : Renovat Ndikumwenayo.

La plupart de la jeunesse burundaise ne s’intéresse pas aux petits métiers. Ils croient que ces métiers ne sont pas bénéfiques. Par conséquent, ceux qui développent leurs talents en cette matière prouvent le contraire. Ndikumana Felix, jeune entrepreneur âgé de 35 ans est originaire de la commune Burambi en Province de Rumonge. Il est détenteur d’un diplôme D6 en pédagogie. Nous pouvons affirmer que ses talents sont innés, du fait qu’il n’a jamais fréquenté aucune école d’art depuis son enfance. Il déclare qu’il aimait les jeux en dessin et des jouets (statuts). En classe, la note de dessin était toujours supérieur à celle des autres cours. Après ses études secondaires, il s’est décidé de faire la sculpture et le dessin un travail au quotidien. Maintenant, il considère son métier le plus grand des métiers. Il a acheté une parcelle et a pu construire sa belle maison. De plus, il vit de son métier. Un jour, j’ai eu l’occasion de lui visiter à son domicile. Mon intention était de connaître ce métier supposé sans valeur pour certains. A son domicile, il était en train de faire une oeuvre intitulée « laissez les enfants développer leurs talents ». Il m’a fait un témoignage : « Depuis mon enfance, j’étais très passionné par les notions de dessin et de sculpture. Après mes études secondaires, j’ai choisi de faire ces deux métiers. Ce qui m’étonne moi aussi, c’est que je n’ai apris ces notions nulle part. A vrai dire, c’est inné pour moi car j’ai fait la pédagogie. Je ne suis pas engagé par l’État. Mon premier capital est ma tête, mes forces mais aussi mes faibles moyens. Je n’ai aucun moyen financier émanant de l’Etat ou d’ une Organisation non Gouvernementale. J’ai débuté avec un capital de 700.000 BIF que j’ai utilisé pour acheter le matériel : le bois et l’argile pour la sculpture tandis que les pinceaux, les feuilles, les planches, les tôles et les couleurs sont utilisés pour le décor et le dessin.

Ce métier demande beaucoup de forces et de temps. Le bois doit être de bonne qualité. A part que ce bois est cher, il provient de loin. Un autre problème à ne pas ignorer est le manque de confiance de certains de mes clients. Les dettes et les retards de paiement de ces derniers sont parmi les facteurs d’un revenu déficitaire de mon métier. Je produits des statuts utilisées dans les églises, dans les musées et des oeuvres utilisés en classe pour étudier. Les statuts de crocodile et de serpent m’ont donné de la célébrité dans une compétition qui a lieu au musée vivant de Bujumbura. J’ai remporté le meilleur prix et j’ai été classé parmi les 5 premier qui font les meilleurs statuts. En ce qui concerne le dessin, je fais des tableaux de mariage et des amoureux, les pancartes de certaines associations pour la publicité de leurs travaux et ainsi de suite. Je reçois souvent des commandes de la part des Organisations Non Gouvernementales comme SOCAM et COPED. Elles me contactent chaque fois qu’elles désirent faire des publicités pour leurs travaux. Les chefs des églises font partie de mes clients affluents. Ils les achètent pour embellir leurs églises.

La connexion aux autres artisans de production.

J’ai beaucoup d’amis avec qui nous nous sommes rencontrés dans différents séminaires. A titre indicatif, je peux dire ceux avec qui nous nous sommes rencontrés dans un séminaire qui était organisé par East African Community en 2017 au jardin public. J’ai pu me procurer une parcelle et une belle maison. A nos jours, mon capital s’évalue à un million. Pour rendre mon métier plus bénéfique pour la société et moi, j’ai besoin d’un soutien. Mon souhait est d’avoir un centre de formation pour les orphelins de Rumonge et d’ailleurs. Je fairai de mon mieux pour transmettre mes connaissances « .

Moi aussi j’épouse l’idée qu’il y ait un soutien pour les petits entrepreneurs. L’innovation de l’art de sculpture et de dessin au Burundi est indispensable. La jeunesse burundaise a besoin de développer leurs talents. Pour ce là, la création des écoles d’art de ce genre est tout pour la jeunesse d’aujourd’hui. La réussite de tout incombe le droit d’auteur.



Working without office

By Canon Felix, Gitega Burundi.

If you want to move forward, avoid fear. Many people do not want to do work for free. They will ask you many things. In Social Initiatives Support Project, I made the difference. While others were failing, this was my successful moment, using the resources in hand. I was chosen from World Merit Burundi. I joined this international organization through Facebook. It was in 2016. When the headquarter recommended me to look for their legal representative in Burundi , Bujumbura, I used Facebook. I found it is Nzigamasabo Léonidas. With him, I did many things. He is my coach. From him I learned greater things. He gave me new connection: M Ichael Josefowicz and other important persons. M Ichael Josefowicz has also connected me to others and inspired me by how he does things.

Description of the micro-project.

It was in 2016, when I was chosen from World Merit Burundi as a coach in Social Initiatives Support Project, initiated by the Burundi US Embassy in partnerships with World Merit Burundi, Innova Group and other organizations. That task was to know how entrepreneurs are working, the challenges they face in their daily activities. To run this project, it was a difficult action because we were to work four months for free. A one week workshop was organized in Muyinga Province(Eastern region) in order to give us stuffs. Every one was asked to register and coach five organizations. We had to choose three topics to develop. After reading all the topics, I decided to choose :

1. Fundraising planning

2. Planning for impact

3. Leadership planning.

These are the topics I developed. To make this doable, everyone was to look for the place he was going to use, for there were not fees to rent the classroom. Instead of five organizations, I registered and coached twelve. While developing these topics, I realized that many leaders have difficulties to distinguish the difference between vision, mission and objectives.

When I teach I learn

The time of the project has been fruitful for me. As I moved with coaching, I found one direction to focus on in my Jonny of entrepreneurship. Recognizing the problem of entrepreneurs, I began to think on how to help them to know their goals. I saw that the project was very important for them. In the use of network, I didn’t realize that one can find partners there. Taking what I learned from M Ichael Josefowicz, PrinterNet Foundation and PrinterNet News, I saw the way. With my new connection, conversation take the lead. Since I have chosen what to do, I have made a choice to help them by creating Menya Foundation in order to provide them with teachings. To make the visibility of what we are doing, I created Menya Magazine. This one writes successful stories and the works of the Foundation. These stories are posted on our blog menyasite.wordpress.com in various languages. The challenge is that we cannot cover all the country. If someone can help us to reach on all of them, it will be a good action. All the trained associations are able to fundraise for their ngos. Since that time, they can write and run a project. They learned how to lead for good future. We are trying to compete with others. After the project, something changed in my manner of doing things. Nowadays, we are looking for partners to give us strength in our activities.


Why do we have this association?

In Burundi, 60% of the population is young. Since the establishment of municipal colleges, private colleges and universities, and all that was added to the existing ones, there are unemployed across the country, regardless of rank and gender. The multiplication of schools should be parallel to the creation of jobs, but this has not been the case. This pushed some of the young people who could not be hired by the state to become long-term unemployed. To overcome this threat, they dare to engage in various income-generating activities. After pooling their capital, they bought a computer and a photocopier. They hired two employees who are paid monthly. They are no longer classified as unemployed and contribute to their development and personal development. The problem is that many young people are afraid to invest. After hearing the three young people who created a Trust Design Company (TDC) that helps them to live I approached Uwayezu Tharcisse who is the coordinator of the association. He told me, « Our association is known as the Trust Design Company and is located in St. Michael’s Church Park where we rent monthly.We did not have the chance to work for the state.We have set up our small capital to end the unemployment that has raged on us since 2014


Pourquoi avons-nous cette association ?

Par Renovat Ndikumwenayo Canon Felix Ndereyimana et Hakizimana Jean Paul

Crédit photo : Renovat Ndikumwenayo.

Au Burundi, 60% de la population est jeune. Depuis la création des collèges communaux, des collèges et des universités privés et tout ceci s’ajoutant à ceux qui existaient déjà, il y a des chômeurs dans tout le pays, tous grades et sexes confondus. La multiplication des écoles devrait être parallèle à la création d’emplois, mais cela n’a pas été le cas. Cela a poussé certains des jeunes qui n’ont pas pu être embauchés par l’État à se retrouver au chômage de longue durée. Pour surmonter cette menace, ils osent s’engager dans diverses activités génératrices de revenus. Après avoir mis en commun leur capitaux , ils ont acheté un ordinateur et une photocopieuse,… . Ils ont embauché deux employés qui sont payés mensuellement. Ils ne sont plus classés comme chômeurs et contribuent à leur autodéveloppement et développement du pays . Le problème est que beaucoup de jeunes ont peur d’investir parce qu’ils ont peur de l’échec . Après avoir entendu les trois jeunes qui ont créé  » Trust Design Company » (TDC), une association qui les aide à vivre j’ai approché Uwayezu Tharcisse qui est le coordinateur de l’association. Il m’a dit: « Notre association est connue sous le nom de » Trust Design Company » et est située dans les enceintes de l’église St. Michel où nous louons mensuellement. Nous l’avons fondé en 2016 après deux ans de chômage. Nous n’avons pas eu la chance de travailler pour l’état. Nous avons mis ensemble nos petits capitaux afin de mettre fin au chômage qui fait rage sur nous depuis 2014. Nous avons terminé nos études universitaires. Si un problème se présente, il faut voir comment s’en sortir. Après avoir fait les activités de vacataires, nous avons eu une somme de 1.500.000 BIF. Nous avons fait des emprunts chez nos amis qui nous ont donné 500 000. Le capital devenant de deux millions, nous avons pu acheter deux machines photocopieuses, une imprimante et un ordinateur. Les services que nous produisons sont : la conception des invitations, badges, cartes de visite, traitement des textes et photos. Nous confectionnons et photocopions les livres. Nous faisons la saisie et impression des documents. Pour ceux qui veulent acquérir des connaissances sur le logiciel de bureau et le logiciel de comptabilité , une formation leur est donnée. Nous avons engagé deux employés permanents qui sont mensuellement rémunérés. Même si la production est bonne, il nous est difficile de connaître le revenu car nous sommes en train de rembourser les dettes. Nous encaissons 200 000 BIF qui nous servent de rémunérer les deux employés. Nous prévoyons améliorer la qualité et la quantité afin de satisfaire nos clients. Dans les jours à venir, nous installerons des succursales dans les autres provinces du pays. Bon nombre de jeunes n’investissent pas de peur d’échouer. Je leur conseille d’être créatifs et courageux afin d’éviter la dépendance économique de leurs parents qui ont tout fait pour qu’ils soient instruits. Surtout, éviter la peur de s’engager. Avant la mise en commun de nos petits capitaux, c’était impossible de nous procurer telle ou telle autre chose. À présent, certains de nos besoins primaires: location de maison d’habitation, l’emplacement du bureau, la nourriture, …, sont satisfaits. Nous n’avons plus le grogne de ne pas avoir été engagé par le gouvernement. Pour augmenter notre clientèle, nous vendons nos services à des prix abordables. Nous vendons en gros les papiers duplicata. Dans le future, nous comptons multiplier les services afin d’augmenter notre rendement. Nous demandons à toute personne de nous aider à produire beaucoup de services ».


The way to success: Episode 1

Although Burundi ancient culture doesn’t allow girls and women to do business work, there are some female who are overcoming that lazy habit. This is the reason why there are few female in entrepreneurship. There is an other bad habit teaching that you cannot do any other thing if you are a student. Alice Habonimana is a young Entrepreneur. She makes the difference because she is doing many things at the same time. She is 22 years old. She was born in Burundi, Bujumbura Rural province , Ruyaga Zone at Bigwa hill. Having a look at what she is doing, you realize that she is moving forward. Although she is a student, she has a Jam and Juice Transformation center. This became possible because she is a farmer. As she is in agribusiness, she was among three persons chosen by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to go to Benin to represent their native country : Burundi. This took place in may 2018. In there, she studied many things in additional to what she knew before. Comparing her with other girls, she makes a big difference because she stills young, she is in business, she has transformation Center and she is a farmer. She sometimes helps her parents to pay for school fees and other needs.

Seeing what she is doing, I asked her to tell me a little about her, she told me : « In 2008, I was 12 years old. Care International, in its project Ishaka thought us to save a little money. We saved 200 BIF weekly . The objective was to save at least 10,000,000 BIF at the end of the year. At the beginning, it seemed like it was a little money . After some months , we were called to ask for a loan. The first I asked in 2010 allowed me to buy cassava flour to resell. Since that time, I entered in business. When the flour was finished, I had to give the money back. All what I had to do was to ask for an other loan, bigger than the first. With this, I added rice. Everything went well and slowly slowly I added the compacted food for children, beans,…. Just now, there several things in my shop. I can finish a stock twice or three times a week. I have many customers. My capital funds exceed, 1,000,000 BIF.

Many people think that one cannot be in business and in studies at the same time. For me it is possible . What I have to do is to take a motorcycle or a taxi to bring foodstuffs at my shop. When I go to school, I leave the shop to a worker. Back from school , I come to my shop. As I leave out of the town, I am obliged to take a bus in order to arrive at school at the right time . My school is in the town. When I am not hurrying up, I go by feet. My parents pay for school fees as well as they pay for my brothers and sisters. I sometimes pay myself. Needing a new thing, if my parents are not ready to buy for me, I pay for myself . I have not problem with all these programs . My studies are going well because I get good marks. During the day, if I am not at school, I am in the shop. This means that I study after the closure of the shop: 22 h local time.

Together with studies and business, I am a farmer. This is the reason why I have a Jam and juice transformation center where some of my products are transformed. Some are eaten in the family while others are to be sold . All this contribute in the increase of my income. The agribusiness led me to be among three persons chosen by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to represent my native country in Benin . It was a great opportunity for me . In Benin, I learned so many things : how to make soy biscuits , cakes, braid, meatloaf , croissants , sandwiches , ginger juice ,… . All these were new to me. In the future, I plan to install a soy transformation center in order to apply what I learned . In our country, females think that they are not able. This was our culture. Nowadays, things have changed . I call all of them to abandon that culture and work hardly in order to do greater things . I call any one who is able to provide me with stuffs to install soy transformation center in my village . I need people to help me finding a market of my products.

She is in the way of success. Others can consider her for a good example . It seems to be difficult to manage the time when you are doing many things at the same time . I encourage her.


Helping Children in Prison 

There are children in prison. They have not a good life. We are calling for help. We are calling for different reasons : some were born in there, others have committed faults while others were brought by their mothers. In order to know how they live, I visited Concern for Children in Prison, a local ngo operating in that domain. He is doing a charitable activity. This is what he told to us:

Since five years, we realized that there are many children in the prison. All together are 120 Children. They are in different prisons of Burundi. They are with their mothers. Some of them have born in the prison, others were brought by their mother. We are trying to help their mothers. We proceed by gathering food from village to village, family to family. They are in bad state. When we help them with food, it sounds like we must visit them regularly. This is impossible. Since some months, we are teaching mothers in prison to run micro-project in order to have income. We are teaching them how to make baskets. We provide them with stuffs to use. The problem is that those children live together by their mother. They hear evil words from their mothers. Also, they don’t have even a small space in which they can relax. They are with their mother every time.

Born in prison.

They live in prison, not because they are prisoners but because they are with their prisoned mother. Children born in prison are registered at unknown father. This is a big problem, for if they are registered to a such father, there are some rights to which they will not access: For instance, a such child can’t go in military activities. It is the same for the no-registered child. He has limited rights.

Brought in prison by their mother

Children brought by their mother are in the same situation as they that have born in there. They have a fragile life, with problem to go to health center in the case of deases. They have not any opportunity to join other children at school. They stay in there without studying.

It is very sad. We call everyone who has a charity heart to help those children victims of their mothers faltes. Our suggestion is to free them. If it is impossible, separate children and their mothers . This will help then to not hear the evil words. For we cover all the country, we are in need of support. Let’s help children in the place which are not appropriate to them.

Canon Felix

Gitega Burundi MenyaFoundation


March 12th, 2018