By Executive Director, Julie Marner
The four of us who recently spent 16 days in Burundi all agreed that one of our favorite lines heard was, “BFI is splashing joy all over Burundi!” “Splashing joy” is not in our mission statement, but I think it is an apt description for what is happening beyond BFI’s free English classes, books, libraries, efforts in health, and economic empowerment. Thanks to our friends in Burundi, BFI is bringing together communities of all ages, tribes, and religions. Our strength remains in empowering youth and women to reach their greatest potential through respect and friendship. It is a strong foundation, and we were all thrilled and humbled to see the tremendous growth of BFI members throughout the country.
BFI’s goal remains clear: to teach English in the service of developing sustainable economic projects for Burundians who belong to the wider, East African Community. What we just recently witnessed on our visit were branches of the BFI tree reaching out into areas of environment, leadership, health, sport and nutrition, arts and crafts, and music. I’m happy to say we are now inundated with project possibilities. What a great problem!
BFI’s family tree is now expanding as some of our teachers get married and start their own families. The last count of English students totaled 20,000, but soon it will be 20,002 with two BFI babies expected in the fall. SPLASH! Who can host our first ever BFI baby shower! Thank you, supporters, for your on-going assistance. You cannot imagine the difference you are making for so many in Burundi.