Turi Kumwe helps marginalized youth gain confidence, launch businesses

June 11, 2022

The Turi Kumwe (We are Together) project in Burundi supported the social integration of Chadrack Miburo and helped him take advantage of economic opportunities. Chadrack lives with albinism. As a result, he has grown up facing discrimination from society, which negatively affected his self-esteem and future aspirations.

Last year, Chadrack attended the pre-dialogue training for marginalized groups organized by Turi Kumwe. The training sought to give marginalized groups the confidence and speaking skills to participate in dialogue sessions and engage more widely in community life. Chadrack is also a member of a Turi Kumwe Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), organizations the project purposefully developed to promote and serve as a model of inclusivity.

Chadrack is a member of a village savings and loan association set up by Turi Kumwe.

“Thanks to this project, I can now be with others. The project has supported peaceful cohabitation between youth of different political parties or different skin colors. I have made new friends; now I can participate in discussions and debates in my community and my opinions receive consideration, which was not the case before,” explains the 34-year-old from Nyamurenza.

Before joining Turi Kumwe, Chadrack sold charcoal and barely made enough income to meet his basic needs. The project trainings on entrepreneurship delivered to his VSLA allowed him to develop a vision for a business. Chadrack was determined to revive the cultivation of coffee, an activity he had abandoned. Using small loans from his VSLA, Chadrack invested in maintaining his plantation and hired daily workers for the harvest. He plans to buy two cows with the profit generated from his coffee crop.

Chadrick’s team present their business plan at the competition.

Chadrack’s efforts did not stop here. He teamed up with other VSLA members to participate in the business plan competition organized by Turi Kumwe. Their business idea came in first place. Next quarter, they will receive around approximately $493 to start up their business to cultivate cetaria, a plant used for cattle feed. Given the new law mandating that cattle be kept in barns, cattle feed is in high demand and the business competition committee saw great potential in their business. In the coming months, Turi Kumwe will invest nearly $50,000 for the startup of innovative enterprises like Chadrack’s, multiplying economic opportunities for youth.

Learn more about the People-to-People Reconciliation Program (“Turi Kumwe”) in Burundi here.

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