ICCM has supported thousands of children in Burundi since 1977. This impoverished African nation is home to our second-largest program in the world.

In 2017, we redesigned our approach to sponsorship in Burundi. In order to deliver the greatest benefit to children in all four areas of their development, we now devote approximately 1/4 of each year’s resources to each of the four domains of Holistic Child Development–physical, spiritual, cognitive and social.

For the children’s physical development, they receive Busoma (a nutritious porridge) on a regular basis, and their parents have the opportunity to be trained in improved agricultural techniques for their vegetable gardens and in maximizing the benefits of animal projects.

For spiritual nurture, resources are devoted to Christian religious education classes in the children’s schools, annual week-long camps for teens and VBS programs for younger children.

Sponsorship dollars support cognitive development through a combination of school fees and school supplies and uniforms. Fundamental education (kindergarten through 9th grade) is theoretically free in Burundi now, so fees are only required for secondary students. But all students need books, notebooks, pens and pencils, paper and a backpack to carry them all in. Sponsored children have all received these now and love them!

Social needs are met in a variety of ways, but the highlight of the year is the week-long youth camp between Christmas and New Year’s Day for high school students, and VBS on the school break for younger kids. Games, talent competitions, Bible quizzing and other activities blend social development with spiritual growth.

current projects in burundi

Burundi food fund

ICCM also helps with the production of Busoma, a highly beneficial whole food. Our partners produce 88,000 servings per month and distribute it to mothers and toddlers. They also provide it for students, widows, and hospital patients as Kibuye Hope Hospital. Since Burundi is one of the most food-insecure countries in the world, with malnutrition rampant, this project meets urgent and immediate needs. 

stories from burundi

facts about burundi

Languages: Kirundi and French

Religions: Roman Catholic 62.1%, Protestant 23.9% (includes Adventist 2.3% and other Protestant 21.6%), Muslim 2.5%, other 3.6%, unspecified 7.9% (2008 est.)

Population: 11,466,756 (July 2017 est.)

Median Age: 17 years (2017 est.)

Literacy: (age 15 and over can read and write) Total: 85.6%, Male: 88.2%, Female: 83.1% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy: Total: 11 years, Male: 11 years, Female: 10 years (2013)

Percentage below poverty level 64.6% (2014 est.)