Thousands of refugees recently repatriated from Tanzania to Giteranyi and Mugano in Muyinga province of northeast Burundi. The area has suffered a serious agricultural and economic crisis, and the shortage of crops, livestock and limited access to land has increased the risk of tension between the returnee and local communities.
Since 2008, JRS has operated a food security project in Muyinga province to support former refugees and the local population in the process of social and economic reintegration. The project aims to strengthen agriculture and animal husbandry, the primary forms of subsistence in the area, through training in modern techniques to improve soil fertility, protect the environment and boost livestock by introducing new breeds.
Funded by Spanish NGO Entreculturas, the JRS intervention seeks to develop the capacity of former refugees to use agricultural methods that will increase production, and reduce the number of livestock lost due to lack of medical care. Another key component of the project is to encourage solidarity and good relations between former refugees and the local community.
Beneficiaries receive male and female goats of superior breeds, which then produce the fertiliser used to increase agricultural yields of beans, manioc, and various fruits and vegetables. JRS also hosts community meetings to raise awareness about food security, provides medicine for veterinary chemists, training to technical JRS staff and support to individuals in vulnerable circumstances, such as the elderly and single mothers. In addition, JRS has built a farm school in Shembe for agricultural and livestock breeding demonstrations.
Great Lakes Africa
+257 78991302; +243 (0)821778696; +250 782000940
JRS Great Lakes Africa is one of 10 geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. The regional office coordinates the delivery of education, housing, psychosocial and recreational services, as well emergency assistance and support to become self-sufficient, to vulnerable refugee and other displaced populations in Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2009, nearly 60,000 forcibly displaced persons were assisted by JRS in the region.
Burundi: JRS closes food security projects, guaranteed long-term impact
Bujumbura, 6 February 2013 – When she returned home to Burundi, after 16 years as a refugee in a camp in Tanzania, Astérie Kantore realised she had lost everything her family possessed before the war. She no longer had a house and felt like a foreigner in what was once her own community. She would have to rebuild her life from zero.
Papua New Guinea
Democratic Republic of Congo
Katanga Province, DRC
United States of America
Central African Republic