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Edouard & Pancras: "My brothers and I look at our father with respect"

June 10, 2024

“Our oldest sister didn’t have the chance to finish her studies. This was before my father became a member of a Burundi Purpose Group, and our family lacked the means to allow her to complete her studies,” shared Edouard.

Edouard’s family, like many in Musanzaza, Burundi, long struggled with poverty. They were farmers who couldn’t grow enough food, due to the country’s ongoing food insecurity and environmental challenges. This greatly discouraged Pancras, Edouard’s father. The inability to provide his children with a quality education or basic needs was a heavy burden he confronted daily.

“Our family lives off farming and livestock. Before we had a Plant With Purpose Group, I used to farm and raise livestock in a way that wasn’t meeting my family’s needs. We could not pay for school fees or support the children’s well-being,” recalls Pancras.

In Burundi, Plant With Purpose's Purpose Groups are the backbone of their fight against poverty and environmental degradation. These groups, composed entirely of local farmers, work together to learn and implement sustainable farming practices. Through workshops and hands-on training, members gain skills in regenerative agriculture, helping to restore degraded land and boost food production.

This focus on self-sufficiency extends beyond the farm. Purpose Groups also function as savings groups, allowing members to pool resources for future investments and emergencies.  Plant With Purpose emphasizes a holistic approach, incorporating financial literacy and spiritual growth alongside agricultural training. By empowering Burundian farmers to help themselves and their environment, Purpose Groups are fostering a future of hope and resilience.

“After I joined the Purpose Group, Plant With Purpose Burundi trained us to manage our savings that came from income generating activities. These are activities we were able to start after obtaining small loans from the group.”

For Pancras, those basic loans were just the beginning of a transformative process.

“I took out a loan to start some of these income generating projects. My favorite one was a livestock project that proved to be the key to our farming success. We improved the quantity and quality of the manure from our livestock and managed to implement a new composting technique. We use two different composts that allow us to use a compost rotation. Now our farm and livestock bring in a good income.

“We enjoy the benefits of Plant With Purpose. We no longer face food insecurity, since we can eat three times a day, with a balanced diet made from our own crops. We are healthier than ever before. We have money for school fees and school supplies. This used to be a big burden,” adds Edouardo.

“As a result, the children now are able to go to school without obstacles,” Pancras now reflects.

“Before these changes, my children did not have a good life. It was difficult. Their nutrition suffered, but now it has improved. They now eat three times a day, sufficient in both quantity and quality. While we raise chickens for income, the children can also eat their eggs. We grow an average of 130 eggs each day.”

burundi purpose group helps farmer and his sons

“My brothers and I look at our father with respect,” shares Edouard.

As a testament to that respect, they’ve begun to imitate the steps taken by their father that have brought improvements to the family. “I have followed the example of my dad in purchasing a hen of my own. That hen has laid eggs, which gave me income. I used it to buy a new uniform and two notebooks for a classmate of mine who was going through a hard time.”

The most flattering imitation is not the fact that Edouard has taken the same approach to earn an income, but that he has used it to support a friend.

“We are a family, and we cooperate with each other,” he shares.

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