Pictured: Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana
Spirit in Action recently received an update from Rev. Fulgence, one of our African Advisory Board Members and the Executive Director of SIA grant partner, Flaming Chalice International. Below we share a bit of his story in his own words.
"This year, I made one of the hardest decisions I have ever made and returned home for a visit to Burundi. You might remember that seven years ago I escaped prison there... Since that time, with your generous support, I have worked to support the people I was forced to leave behind. We have built many things together that I thought I would never see with my own eyes. A change in government combined with my Canadian citizenship opened a window of opportunity. I knew that to go back would be to risk my life."
As the stars aligned, Rev. Fulgence was able to visit the villages in Burundi where he grew up. He witnessed firsthand how funding such as that from SIA has helped transform the community. The Ryansoro water project has lessened the burden on women to transport water to their families and decreased disease rates, truly saving lives.
A video of children in Ryansoro drinking clean water from the new pump!
"I was amazed by how the people and communities I saw are so resilient," wrote Fulgence. "I saw refugees who are alive and hopeful. I saw women who are active and working hard to be equal partners with their husbands. I saw young people who have decided to stay in the villages to keep them alive and help them thrive." During his visit, Rev. Fulgence took in all the feedback he could get about what was needed and what was next for Flaming Chalice. Food prices have doubled, causing undue strain on the refugee community. With the area's main hospital being a great distance from the remote villages, another common complaint was the need for a vehicle to use as an ambulance to transport the critically ill; many families had already lost loved ones that could have been prevented if there had been more time to perform life-saving measures. Women and youth also shared their dreams of starting businesses and creating savings and loans programs, efforts that could go back into building the sustainability of their community. Rev. Fulgence continues to fight the good fight on behalf of the people of Burundi and continues to evolve the work of Flaming Chalice to meet the needs. "I have seen with my own eyes the difference you have made in these communities. They are fighting every day and overcoming immense obstacles... Thank you so much for doing all you can to help FCI touch and change lives."
Spirit in Action is proud to partner with organizations like Flaming Chalice International that provide easily accessible clean drinking water to hundreds of families and school children throughout several villages in Burundi. When you support SIA, you are contributing to the continued success of people like Rev. Fulgence and building a better tomorrow.