What Your Gift Will Do
Your gift will support children's rights and education in Burundi.
FVS-AMADE Burundi supports community groups to adopt and care for orphans and vulnerable children. The groups save each week and have rotating group loans to invest in their own small businesses as well as to pay for the children's school fees. Additionally, the organization provides other services through the network of groups including community based-health insurance, family planning training, vocational training, solar power for revenue generation, and child's rights protection. They also run a secondary school for gifted students, including orphans and vulnerable children.
The year was 1992 in Burundi, an impoverished country in the heart of Africa where a new disease – AIDS – was killing many people. Two sisters, Spès and Caritas, were caring for infected family members when most people were too terrified to step foot inside the hospital. Other patients on their deathbeds began giving them their last pennies and begging them to care for their children. Touched, the sisters founded FVS-AMADE Burundi, at the time a cafeteria to feed orphans and vulnerable children. At this time, Burundi was also in the midst of a civil war, and tensions had been building. One day in 1996, gunfire broke out only 100 meters from the cafeteria, just as the children were leaving. The children, having nowhere else to seek safety, ran back. Despite not having beds for the children, Spès and Caritas were refused to turn the children away. That first night, 42 children slept in a small cafeteria and office space. After this incident, FVS transformed into an orphanage and refuge for many children as the genocide erupted in Burundi and neighboring Rwanda. 24 years later, FVS-AMADE is now one of the largest local non-profits in Burundi. No longer an orphanage, it now empowers communities to care for the orphans — a more sustainable approach. Its network has grown to nearly 43,000 members who have adopted 47,000 orphans!
Liz Haffa became involved with FVS-AMADE through Global Health Corps, where she spent one year in Burundi as a fellow supporting the organization in the areas of fundraising, communications, and partnerships. She was inspired by the beneficiaries she met who are so dedicated to helping orphans in need. Despite living on less than a dollar per day, they still manage to save each week to invest in their own small businesses and the children's education. Liz strongly believes in the organization's holistic approach of empowering beneficiaries, who are able to better support their families and orphans in their communities as a result, and continues to support the organization after her fellowship.