Posted On 2017-08-13 In Projects, Schoenstatt - Reaching out, works of mercy

Mariya Arafasha wants to break the divide between rich and poor

BURUNDI, Fr. Claudio Jeria •

It’s the same the world over and Burundi, one of the poorest countries in Africa, is no different. Those who are without education are vulnerable and anyone can deceive them, play them for fools, take advantage of them and act unjustly towards them. Without education, they do not have the ability to know their rights and their potential.

Lack of knowledge is slavery. Knowledge is freedom.

Those who possess knowledge can speak out, fluently state their position, and have the agility to navigate their way through life’s situations. They speak better and are more confident in all things. Education is necessary! Since the start of his pontificate, Pope Francis has often denounced a system of selective education:

“It seems that only people or persons who have a certain level or who have a certain capacity have a right to education, but certainly all children and all young people have a right to education. This is a global reality that makes us ashamed. It is a reality that leads us to a human selectivity, and that instead of bringing peoples closer, it distances them; it also distances the rich from the poor; it distances one culture from another … The educational pact was broken by the phenomenon of exclusion. We find the best, the most selective – those that are the most intelligent, or those with the most money to pay the best school or university – and the others are left to one side. The world cannot go forward with a selective education, because there is no social pact that unites everyone.” (21.11.2015)

Mary Ayuda – Mariya Arafasha: school bursaries for the most vulnerable

María Ayuda (Mary Helps) translated in Kirundi as Mariya Arafasha has decided to eradicate this barrier between rich and poor, giving many young people the access to education.

In Burundi, the problem starts with secondary education. Primary school is free, but high school education is paid, even in public schools.

For many families (often with many children) the question is: where do we get the money to pay school fees, uniforms, notebooks, and textbooks. And what if the student gets sick? Health care is also expensive and many just cannot afford it.

Solidarity contribution

For this reason, Maria Ayuda has decided to increase the number of school bursaries, allowing many more children — both boys and girls — to have access to education.

  • In 2015, we helped 142 students
  • In 2016, thanks to many contributors, particularly in Chile, we were able to reach 165 students.

This year, how many will we be able to help?
Just 95 euro or US$110 can pay for the educational expenses of one student.

This sum can be broken down as follows (in US dollars):

  1. School fees: $$35
  2. Stationary (note books, pencils): $12
  3. School uniform: $13
  4. Fees for practicals: $0.60
  5. Health cover (organized by us): $17
  6. Transport: $26
  7. Organizational costs: office, salaries: $6

As you can see, with this contribution, our youth receive (among other things): uniforms, school fees, health care. With this we give them hope! For a better future.

The new school year begins on 1 September. I look at our bank account and I see the funds we collected for Christmas and until today we have: There are two bank accounts. One in Chile and one in Europe. In the Chilean account there is only $5.046. Last year Chile raised: $9.700. Will we be able to raise $10.000 this year? Or more? This year, European contributors donated 10.000 euros. We are appealing to our Chilean brethren and the entire American continent (including USA) for an extra push. It requires us to be generous but also to inspire others with our generosity. You can do so much good.

Decide and collaborate now!

The editorial team and have come together to help Maria Ayuda Burundi, by making our new online donations system available for this cause. With the click of the button below, you can fill out a simple donations form (in spanish so far, but self-explaining) and make your donation (without additional charges) by means of a credit card and PayPal.  For countries in the SEPA zone, you also have two bank transfer options.


Bank account:

Account holder: Schönstatt-Patres-International
IBAN: DE80370601933009164013
Reference: María Ayuda Burundi

Original: Spanish, 30 July. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa

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3 Responses

  1. Ann Dentice says:

    Please send info on sending a donation in English

    • Dear Ann, and all who might miss something. All information on how to donate for this great project in Burundi are in the article. Just to repeat:
      1) there is a bank account given with all data needed (IBAN, BIC/SWIFT). Sure that means costs for you as donor, especially for transfer from outside Europe
      2) therefore we offer the brand new online donation system where you can donate free of any charge via Credit Card (Master, Visa), PayPal, or – only from within SEPA – European Single Payment Area – via online banking or direct debit. This form is in spanish for simple cost reasons, as the basic package of this donations system offers only two forms.

      As an orientation, I am copying here the link to a site that uses the same system, just click at “creditcard” in Payment method to see what the different fields mean.

      Sorry for not being able, so far, to offer more… but this is indeed the first time since we offer the donation system that anybody from english speaking readership wants to donate.

  2. Ann Dentice says:

    Please send me the address for sending a check & who is the check made out to? I can’t send a great deal but I want to me a pert of this wonderful work you are doing thank you Ann Dentice Schoenstatt Mother’s

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