Gitaramuka SKYE club
Made of 22 active members of 8 young boys and 14 young girls, the club is located at the commune center neighborhood and meets every Wednesday from 8.00 in the vocational school not far from the World Vision cluster program office.
They learn together different skills and knowledge capable of transforming their thinking and views of life challenges. According to many, the club is an opportunity to continue their schools they dropped unwillingly. SKYE curriculum, VSLA, Community Service Learning and funs are their daily agenda of meeting. They breed, farm and do business together or individually, being supported by their “youth bank” now reaching to 818.100 BIF in which they get loans easily.
They are contributing to the fight against malnutrition through introduction and vulgarization of kitchen garden in their community. Each club member has owned one before calling the community for a sensitization campaign that will be done in collaboration with the administration and local church leaders.
Ghyslaine, 20 years old is a member of Gitaramuka SKYE club.” Formerly I could not manage fruitfully my life or any amount I got, I used to spend it in my luxuries, unnecessary clothes, buying beer to my friends…” she said.
“But since I joined the club, my behavior changed thanks to the lessons of SKYE and different trainings. I own a 30*20 square meters land of rice.”
She got a 50. 000 BIF loan from the SKYE club and added her own amount of 54.000 BIF in order to rent and cultivate her land. According to her, a minimum of 200 kilograms is the expected harvest and will be kept until one kilo costs 800 BIF in order to get a minimum of 160.000 BIF. She was also able to impact 5 young girls and 2 boys who first came to work in her field but now are also trying to organize their own lands with the amount worked for and the advises she gave them.
To the question that it is not culturally for a Burundian girl to have financial means and that boys will be afraid of her, she says: “it is said in the neighborhood that I under look local boys who want to betroth me.” “It is because they see that I can’t be attracted by 5.000 BIF or 10.000 BIF as they do for other girls. I’m waiting for someone I love and whose behavior meets my criteria and have a household where I could contribute as my husband for the wellbeing of the family.” She added proudly.
1. Contribution in peace maintaining
Nestor NGENDAKUMANA, 21 years old and a former rebel combatant revealed the advantages of being in SKYE club:
“I could be taken by any person in any affair because I had no goal of life. In 2015 sociopolitical period, I followed the youth pressure attracted by political motivations and found myself in Rwanda refugee camp. As there was much hunger, a rich man promised me money on the condition that I join the armed groups. We underwent a military training and finally fearfully attacked Burundi country. I was arrested and imprisoned before being freed as I was under 18 years. Thanks to being together with others and to the leaning I am gaining in the club, I am no longer having a desire to return to armed groups”.
Nestor highlighted that he is comfortable in his community where he is trusted to lead a club and where he is busy translating his transformational change in his development. He is breeding 2 goats and plans to farm more as the means increases and this is helping him to be stable: “How can I now leave my goats?”
Nestor is also working in hair cut salon. The 22 SKYE club members said that they trust Nestor and that they do not fear him again. His story is transforming other youths to hate manipulation by politicians:
“The story of Nestor touched my heart and encouraged me to free from any political solicitation that I was facing in the 2015 situation. I was called many times to be enrolled and enroll other youths but could not imagine to see myself become like him. I feel happy when I work and gain my livelihood”. Says NIYONGABO Symphorien, 28 years old.
2. Contribution to the community and to the child wellbeing.
a. Support to the most vulnerable children
This has been done in their process of rescuing the vulnerable of their community, using the VSLA’s social funds. They assisted two vulnerable families which gave birth to twins. They gave cloths and milk for children, and soaps worth of 25000 BIF. Besides this given assistance, the whole club members took one day to cultivate for the families to help them prepare the next cultural season.
Another aspect is that the club is engaged in malnutrition reduction in the neighborhood. They have started by building their own kitchen garden (each member). Youths are preparing the next step that is to scale up the activity in the whole zone. Their target is to influence community to have kitchen garden at hill level. In collaboration local administration, they held a two-day sensitization to raise the awareness of the importance of vegetables.
b. Environment restauration
Environment deterioration is one of the issues observed in Gitaramuka commune. The SKYE youths felt the responsibility to contribute in the improvement of the environment. Last year, they established tree nurseries. This year, community members bought them they were planted on the neediest hills. It is a project from which they gained 250,000 BIF which is kept in their bank account for other potential project.
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