Children Rescued in Burundi
In 1990, Chrissie Chapman, a qualified nurse and midwife from Great Britain, came to Burundi to establish a maternity clinic and dispensary in a mountainous rural region. After a productive three years, war and genocide broke out. The work in the hill country was brought to an abrupt stop, and Chrissie was evacuated to the city centre of Bujumbura. It was here that she rented her first small home and began working among the displaced peoples in the refugee camps. The need was immense.
As war continued in Burundi and neighbouring countries, people fled for their lives, picking up living babies from the arms of dead family members and
finding their way to refugee camps. Young children, unable to stand in a feeding line or hold a porridge bowl, were frequently left on the rubbish heap to fend for themselves. It was during this time that Chrissie felt that her work could be most effective if she focused on helping small babies. Hence, the birth of the first CRIB house in 1993.
This project was the impetus of BC2Africa and started the snowball effect that CC4Africa eventually became.
Two major influencers in inspiring CC4Africa to become what it is today. (From left to right: Mary Ann Bale and Chrissie Chapman at a barbeque and auction in Bella Coola, BC, in 2006)
Over the years, houses were added until, in 2006, a project to construct a large home for the children on donated land was started. By September, the new home was ready and the children moved in. Money raised by then-newly established BC2Africa helped to buy beds and curtains for the new building.
In the End
Over 50 orphaned children were supported for about 12 years. CC4Africa supported the original CRIB orphans to attend secondary levels in school and sponsor some individuals in post-secondary education. Most are now graduated and attending university or employed in various fields. There is even now one former CRIB student, with an earned teaching diploma, who has returned to teach at her former orphanage. As of 2019, only 11 children--now teenagers--remain, but CRIB remains the home for all 50 students who return during their breaks.
Until BC2Africa was registered, our founders sponsored 22 kids through Hope for the Nation. As soon as BC2Africa was registered, we then raised funds to complete a separate caregiver house and 2 outdoor kitchens, which allowed all of the children and the caregiving couples to live in the same compound.