UCBUM, a Godsend to the Vulnerable Children and Mothers of Buterere

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Very shocked to see certain children from Buterere (a slum in the north of the city of Bujumbura) and their mothers living off the leftovers of food they found at the Buterere dump, Cynthia Manirambona thought about creating a shelter for them. Therefore, she created United for Children Burundi bw’Uno Musi (UCBUM).

 

Cynthia Manirambona, founder of United for Children Burundi bw’Uno Musi (UCBUM) in the USA

 

After my father died, my mother sacrificed herself for us. I understood that raising a child, in difficult conditions, is a heavy burden. As a result, I grew up with the idea of ​​helping vulnerable mothers. In 2013, having learned what was happening at the Buterere dump, I and five other young girls thought of creating United for Children Burundi bw’Uno Musi (UCBUM),” Cynthia recounts.

 

Cynthia Manirambona in United for Children Burundi Bw’Uno Musi in Buterere center

 

Compassion born of a very hard life!

According to Cynthia Manirambona, the idea of creating of United for Children Burundi bw’Uno Musi (UCBUM) rootedfrom the fact that she grew up being an orphan. “I had to grow up in difficult conditions. My father died in 1993 and my mother in 2007. After school, I went to work at the « Entente Sportive” and on weekends, I sold loincloths that I bought in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Of course, I had to take care of our family since my big sister was studying upcountry,” she explains.

 

United for Children Burundi Bw’Uno Musi center in Buterere

Mrs. Cynthia adds that at the end of her university studies, she had already got money. « I could start right away the business. But then I came across a piece of paper that I had scrupulously kept in my late dad’s wallet. I had written on it: “God, help me to help orphaned children.” “When I read this piece of paper, I had to change my plans and invested myself in helping vulnerable children and women with the little I had”, she reveals.

At the very beginning of her project of helping children, she got hired by VIC (Volontariato Internazionale sta selezionando). Despite a good salary, she will be forced to resign from her job and continue what she had already started.

 

The street cannot raise children!

Unlike a mother who takes care of the education of her offspring, the street hardens the hearts of children instead of soothing them,” exclaims Cynthia Manirambona.

Children in United for Children Burundi Bw’Uno Musi in Buterera center

I was very amazed by the attitude of the street children whose mother had died. Instead of being stunned by the death of their mother, they only asked for food because hunger was gnawing at them. I was shocked a lot. I noticed that the street is not a conducive environment for children”, she adds.

According to Ms. Manirambona, UCBUM was created to be a place that promotes the living conditions of children and their mothers with precarious means. “UCBUM’s mission is to facilitate the return to normal family life, promote quality education, reintegration and socio-educational monitoring of vulnerable children and facilitate access to health care for vulnerable children and families.

 

Women in United for Children Burundi Bw’Uno Musi in Buterere center learning sewing profession

UCBUM also helps mothers from poverty-stricken families with the creation of Income Generating Activities (AGR), notably rice cultivation, vegetable cultivation, business and sewing. They are also grouped together in cooperatives and solidarity groups,” she confides.

Note that “UCBUM” currently helps more than 1000 families and that it gives lunch to 200 children and students from Monday to Friday while 50 other malnourished children receive porridge.

 

Melchisedeck Boshirwa

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