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.
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):
- School fees: $$35
- Stationary (note books, pencils): $12
- School uniform: $13
- Fees for practicals: $0.60
- Health cover (organized by us): $17
- Transport: $26
- Organizational costs: office, salaries: $6
ANNUAL TOTAL ANUAL: US$ 110
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 schoenstatt.org editorial team and schoenstatt.pro 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.
Account holder: Schönstatt-Patres-International
Reference: María Ayuda Burundi
Original: Spanish, 30 July. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa