In 2013, the UK-based charity that funded the completion of Phase 2 for the clinic, built separate homes for boys and girls living on the streets in Gitega on clinic property. In this program, children stay for one year, attend school and are counseled before eventually returning to their home villages. Naturally, this fit well with CC4Africa’s mandate and we began to support the children of the program for activities; school and medical supplies; uniforms; and nutritional meals. Vestine, Director of ARM Burundi, coordinates how donations are allocated for the sponsored children. Prior to 2015, Drs. Aline and Euloge oversaw the development of the Gitega Health Centre and Rohero Clinic.
As the turmoil in the area increased in 2016, the children’s program was suspended. Most of the children returned to their home villages. However, the buildings remain available for when they return.
An open house in Kimberley and the annual Bella Coola Arts and Crafts Fair provided the necessary funds to pay for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of the Gitega children’s uniforms; school/medical supplies; and nutritional meals.
This year, the children returned. The Gitega Health Centre is now supporting over 80 children with this program. However, their principal funding ended due to a change in mandate--making CC4Africa the sole funder of the program. With ARM Burundi’s support, the children sought out homes among various poor families in Gitega to accept them. All the children were able to find somewhere to stay instead of reverting back to living on the street. Meanwhile, CC4Africa continues to provide funds to help the kids access education.
The children are still living with families in nearby villages rather than living communally because of the lack of additional funding for a community setting. To cover all the children for a school semester, the cost is about $5,000 CAD. To ensure financial viability, CC4Africa is assessing the financial impacts on a semester-by-semester basis.