Take a look into what I see

Thursday, February 10, 2005

progress... lots more info

Hello everybody,

I'm feeling much better about the idea of helping people out in Burundi, better in the way that plans are forming and more information is coming in, and different organizations are helping out... so I'm less overwhelmed and much more encouraged by people's responses so far. I found an organization that Augustin's brother, Claude, who grew up in Burundi and lives in the US now, works closely with called the African Liason Group. Here's one of the emails Claude sent me:

Because of the Tsunami relief effort, no many organizations are paying
attention to what's going on in Burundi, so therefore not many American
organization will be helpful as far as Burundi is concern.

First of all you need to tell people that you are working with a USA
Registered Non-for Profit organization and the reason this is important is
because of credibility issues first and second but more importantly, any
gift will be tax deductible. African Liaison Group is the best group for
you because it has both of the above issues and more importantly have a
relationship with indigenous organizations in Burundi who are involved in
the relief work.

On the food shortage issue, African Liaison Group have worked with
"Community Center Fellowship" in Burundi and Augustin is part of that group
and we will continue to work with them and we also work with CITI Bank to
transfer funds. ALG transfer funds to Burundi every month.
Here is the address: African Liaison Group P.O.Box 8867 Surprise, AZ 85374

Claude also sent an attachment with information on the situation in burundi:

Burundi is facing a serious food shortage according to the Burundi branch of World Food Program (WFP: an organization that focuses on food security issues in the country). The WFP says in its bulletin, just published, that the shortages began in early September and could last up to five months.

The bulletin reports that the shortages were largely unexpected this season and attributes the crises to two factors: the early arrival of the dry season and the subsequent sharp drop in bean production. Beans represent the principal crop of the February to June harvesting season.
In addition, the bulletin says the propagation of a "mosaic virus" has devastated cassava plantations in Burundi's northern and eastern provinces. Cassava is the staple food for many families.

The UN Children's Fund nutritional surveys conducted last month indicate that in the northeastern provinces, those affected by diminished bean and cassava crops, already experience prevalence rates for acute malnutrition in 40% of the children from six months to five years. Chronic malnutrition observed within the same age group has reached 71 percent, according to the bulletin. The current food shortage will only add to these numbers.

We are asking friends of Burundi to join hands to support Burundi at this time. You can help to supply families with beans, cassava, potatoes and maize. Our organization partners “Community Center Fellowship’ will get the supplies from the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda. It will cost approximately $10 to feed a family for a month. You can offer hope by giving food and sending a message of love. Sometimes the greatest hope comes from knowing that others remember you and care for you – knowing you are not alone in your time of need.

Please make checks payable to African Liaison Group and send to
P.O.Box 8867 Surprise, Arizona 85374

I'm posting allll of this just to give anyone in any city or home the opportunity to help out personally. The plan I have so far for the ho-co community is to make a video for RHS and try to get an advisory day to play the video and allow people to donate money to the cause through their advisories. for people to be affected, they will have to KNOW something about what this place is and why it's important that we help, so the video will include my story of visiting Burundi, and receiving an email last week asking for help from a friend that I stayed with. I'll include pictures of Augustin, Claude, their family, and other pictures taken by me, in an effort to show people that this is REAL. If you are skilled with making video's, I'd love your help... otherwise I'll try doing something through RHS TV studio. I can make copies of the video so that other schools can use it and gather the money to send out.

There's one more plan that I'm motivated to follow through on with the help of Jen Lemen, and that is to put on a concert in my house or something, and video tape it, and put it online using some Mac technology, with a way to donate money online. Jen and I will be talking soon about this.

Money is the most useful form of donation because the food is bought in Rwanda and Uganda (for much cheaper than it would be here), and then brought to people in Burundi. However, as the letter above says... sending letters is a great way to let people know they aren't alone and that people her in America are concerned for their lives, because struggling to survive is really hard, esp when they feel no one cares. The main language there is Kurundi, but many people also speak French and a few speak English also. Couldn't hurt to do that, if you feel motivated.

Augustin (currently living in Burundi) wrote an email as well with similar information stated above and I'll include his last sentence as well:

Greet everybody who are ready to help. Tell them that tlove them and we pray for them because we appreciate what they are doing. May God bless you so much.

Keep your hearts with the people there. We're really going to help.


Blogger Aleksandr Mihailov said...

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12:58 PM


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