Located in the Great Lakes region of Africa, Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 184 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index. Much of its history has been turbulent, and Burundi today continues to face many political and economic challenges.
Mothers’ Union has been active in Burundi for 70 years and has more than 18,000 members who actively promote stable family life and support those in need. Mothers’ Union Burundi takes a holistic approach that focuses on faith, family and community.
MULOA is a process that gets us LISTENING to God, each other and the vulnerable to learn WHO we touch, WHAT changes we help make and HOW we are or can be most the effective, OBSERVING what we have in our hand and every one ACTING together to improving their lives.
MULOA in Burundi
MU Burundi leaders met together to spend time doing the MULOA process and equip themselves to reach out to their members, families and wider communities.
As a team they acknowledged that in order to reach sustainable peace across Burundi, there are so many layers to tackle first, i.e internal peace for each individual, peace with God and peace with others. Being a faith based organization with their main objective to care for families, Mothers’Union believes that sustainable peace and reconciliation must start at home before reaching out to community and country level.
Domestic violence is one of the areas to be addressed in order to restore peace in families and have stable families. Most of the time domestic violence is done to women and children, and has bad consequences on both parents and children. Children growing up in a hostile environment where there is no love and peace, where they only experience violence only is likely to result in cycle of violence as they grow up.
The MU team reflected how so many people have experienced domestic violence in their childhood and the wounds are still affecting them. That fact made worse by culture preventing violence being discussed openly and therefore violence is repeated again and again. This cycle and chain of violence can only be broken through prayers and mutual support of friends. Someone listening to them and walking the journey with them. This is a key role for the MU going forward.
Through all of its programmes, MU Burundi is now putting peace and reconciliation at the heart of its work by:
to praying and listening to God and to others about the effective way of addressing domestic violence and other family issues;
equipping Mothers’Union leaders with active listening and communication skills;
sharing some tools and mobilizing the church and community to take actions against violence
All key strategies within their wider programme portfolio including the literacy and savings programme that will contribute to peaceful and stable families in Burundi.
Their biggest programme being the Literacy and Financial Education which has been in operation since 2000 and has enabled over 50,000 people to become literate with over 70,000 setting up savings groups and income generating projects.
MU Burundi also runs parenting groups and advocates against gender-based violence, early marriage, and lack of women’s inheritance