RUSIZI-BWEGERA: AWAY FROM EVERYTHING
Donors and private foundations
MABAWA ITALY ASSOCIATION
MABAWA ALI FOR AFRICA CH
Heartfelt thanks to our supporters:
they made it possible to keep a school alive in an isolated place,
where no one would have had access to education.
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In the Rusizi plain, bordering Burundi and Rwanda, in a barren and very poor area, lies the small village of Bwegera and here, with great difficulty, a group of willing teachers tries to give an education to the children who live in the rural settlement and its surroundings.
They lack everything and the school building is in a very bad state: unfortunately, the area is torn apart by wars and raids by various armies and rebels, resulting in deaths, orphans and refugees. The chances of survival are minimal.
Emmanuel takes Katrine to Bwegera for a visit and she is so impressed that she tells her ''group of friends'' (which will later become the Mabawa Association) who, shocked and touched, decide to support this school requiring a minimum contribution. The school is installed in a dilapidated structure but with excellent teachers and an incredible will to succeed despite everything.
The school needs to be completely rebuilt and back home in Ticino (CH) Katrine and her friends start looking for adequate solutions.
When the search for funds to build a building worthy of the name began, to our great good fortune, a generous Ticinese donor offered to help.
Now the funds obtained are too important to be managed privately, so the "group of friends" feels the need to formalize its commitment and on January 28, 2004 the association Mabawa is born.
Unfortunately, while we were making arrangements with architects and construction companies to start work as soon as possible, yet another attack by armed rebel bands broke out in the area.
The entire community is forced to flee to neighboring Burundi, and the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) installs them in the refugee camp in Cibitoke, too close to the border bounded by the Rusizi River.
In fact, after a few days, rebel gangs invaded the camp killing 159 people, mostly women and children.
Faced with this horror, the UNHCR decides to send the survivors to the center of Burundi in Mwaro, a safe place far from the border, where they will remain for years. The hope of a quick return to Bwegera is thus extinguished.
In 2008/2009, after many vicissitudes linked to the guerrilla warfare, Mabawa managed to build a new school of 7 classrooms with few means and local material (raw earth bricks), which housed over 300 children and their 6 teachers.
In 2014, the Government utilised the fond social to implement a new school intended for secondary education on the large land of 10,000 square meters, donated by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we built the first primary school. Until then, all secondary school students were forced to attend (with a Mabawa scholarship) a school far away.
Today only students of science and pedagogy subjects have to travel to Uvira or Luvinghi.
As of March 2021, the school has 392 students, including 171 girls and 221 boys.
Mabawa fully supports the school with 1'000 USD monthly which covers:
- teachers' salaries
- purchase of teaching materials
- maintenance of facilities
- scholarships for off-site students
Obviously when it comes to larger investments we have to step in when we can, as in the case of the construction of the 5 classrooms that is underway right now.
THE NEW SCHOOL BUILDING
A flood of catastrophic proportions in May 2020 destroyed 15,000 homes, leaving behind a lot of dead and missing. Fortunaltely, in the area of our school it was less tragic but a part was destroyed and our classrooms were made unsafe and unusable.
There are 464 students including 198 girls and 266 boys, who now have at their disposal:
- 5 large, bright classrooms with just the right amount of furniture
- 12 restrooms
- 1 new septic tank
- 1 fountain for hygiene and hydration.