Regaining the confidence of local communities, supporting their skills, making them the protagonists of their choices. These are the pathways chosen by AMU to fight poverty in Burundi. Forming community savings and microcredit groups, like the one in Nyunganira, is the tool it uses.
Nyunganira has blown out the candle for its first birthday. What is Nyunganira? It is one of the savings and microcredit groups in Kayanza, Burundi, supported by CASOBU and AMU through the You Can Do It! project that aims to improve the socio-economic conditions of families in the community. It is a fight against poverty which is implemented through a concept that is both simple and unusual, by enabling local communities to generate income from their activities. It provides them with the tools to emerge from initially disadvantaged conditions, supports their capacities and accompanies them to develop an awareness of their own strength.
It has been a challenging year. Members of the Nyunganira group have experienced the different aspects of community microcredit. They have learned how to save, how to give each other loans and how to support each other. In short, they have developed a sense of community.
“I always wanted to raise animals but never had the money. My dream was to join the group and actively participate so that one day I would be able to buy and raise a pet and be like other neighbours,” was Lydia’s story, one of the Project’s protagonists.
Each person’s experience is different and tells a different story.
Eric told us that “when it was time to repay the loan, I didn’t have the money yet. I was counting on the money from the harvest but this took longer than expected. I therefore had difficulty repaying the loan. However, I manage to arrange things differently so that I could pay back the loan”.
The Nyunganira microcredit group is now entering its second year. Many things need to be improved and many things still need to be done.