Burundi Celebrates Women's History Month!


Empowering Women

March is the month to celebrate women! Burundi Friends International is empowering women and youth through a partnership with the San Diego based non-profit organization Project Concern International (PCI). In collaboration, PCI’s Women Empowered (WE) Initiative has been launched in Burundi with the goal of empowering and supporting Burundians as they lift themselves out of extreme poverty. For more information about PCI, please visit

WE is a two-year project encouraging women to save money, learn financial planning, and become leaders in their communities. WE groups begin with 15- 20 women coming together to support and build one another up. Weekly, each participant contributes to a savings fund. Over time, group members invest in one another with micro-loans. In addition to saving weekly, women learn skills like problem-solving and action planning that they use to make positive changes in their households and communities. BFI in-country staff ensures a safe environment, teaches programming, provides accountability, and encourages the social connection of each group.

PCI envisions a world in which the most vulnerable people in the world will have the power to lift themselves out of poverty and create vital, healthy lives for their families and communities, now and for the future. BFI and WE bring about hope and inspiration. Stay tuned for stories from the field!

"We express our gratitude to Burundi Friends International for their visit, their love and support to the Women Empowerment Initiative." — Burundian woman WE participant

She Who Holds The Key
Emelyne Irakoze Bahati was born in the city of Bujumbura in 1993. Abandoned by her father when she was four, with her mother passing in 2004, Emelyne is driven to help children. She began volunteering with BFI three years ago and leads the Children's Program. She also became an entrepreneur, creating shoe and beauty products such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Emelyne studies business management at Bujumbura International University. She is strongly motivated by the plight of the street children of Burundi. She hopes and believes that every Burundian will one day have the basic necessities of life.

"I am driven by my commitment to fashion because of street children, and one day believe that every Burundian person will be able to walk with shoes." — Emelyne Irakoze Bahati

Rightfully Received Rewards
The rewards Emelyne has received for her remarkable accomplishments
2014: International Youth Fellowship. Emelyne received a certificate for volunteering in preparation of the 2014 IYF World Camp Burundi.

2015: Education. Emelyne attended primary and secondary school in Bujumbura, where she earned a high school certificate in 2015.

2016: U.S. Embassy, Bujumbura. Emelyne received a certificate on the Workshop of Personal Leadership Development, organized
by the Information Resource Center of the U.S. Embassy Bujumbura.

2017: Christian Life Minister. Emelyne received a certificate for volunteering in teaching English.

2018: Young African Leaders Initiative. As a young leader committed to transforming Africa, Emelyne received a certificate of completion in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program.



SET Students Support BFI

The School of Entrepreneurship and Technology (SET) is a charter school in San Diego, California. SET prepares students to thrive both personally and professionally in an increasingly global, technology-driven society. Mrs. Lennon, an English teacher at SET High, teaches a "Writing as a Career" class. This class is meant to provide students with the tools needed to become young writers. Her class has partnered with Burundi Friends International (BFI) to fight poverty and empower woman. We are currently pen- pals with students in Burundi to help them with their English. We are making newsletters in order to help BFI. This helps us gain knowledge on how to practice real world applications.

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Burundi Friends International · P.O. Box 927356 · San Diego, CA 92192-7356 · USA