Tragedy in Burundi

This blog post was originally posted to the AmaniDC blog by our DC Director, Sarah. 


Outskirts of the marketplace in Bujumbura.

Yesterday, the Amani family received tragic news from the Amahoro center in Burundi. A devastating fire started in the central market located in Bujambura (where the Amahoro ladies purchase their materials and where most Burundi business takes place) and was ablaze from early Sunday morning through evening (read more here and see video footage here). The effects of the fire are devastating to the Burundi economy and to our sister center there specifically. Goreth, Amani’s Burundi Director, writes:
“Amahoro will face tough times. This  market is where we buy all kintenge, fabric, batik,  lining, threads, needles, and all other necessary items for stitching… We had a meeting with ladies at the center this morning and we have seen that we have difficulties getting what we need for the work. We are affected and our families are also affected. Our staple food is rice and beans and was burned in the market because everything was found there.  As a result 1 kg of beans [that used to cost 1500 BIF] today cost 3000; 1 kg of rice [that used to cost 1800 BIF] today cost 3000 and plus and it is not easy to find it. We are going to face tough moments.”
It is easy to feel powerless upon receiving news of such suffering while sitting on the other side of the world. Many relief organizations and individuals are rallying in support of Burundi (check out twitter #burundi to see some of the ways people around the world are lending aid). In the coming weeks, there are several ways that you can help support the Amani Burundi family: 1) Pray: For the women with whom we work and for Burundi’s economy and food availability. Our prayer with Burundi echoes Psalm 61: “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.” 2) Shop: It seems almost too simple. But our online shop, warehouse in Tennessee  and boutique in DC exist to support the good work that our centers in Africa are doing. The money that customers spend here on Amani products goes back into purchasing product from our sister centers overseas and helps them to sustain the job skills training programs that help them to support their families. Keep your eye out for our Burundi products in our shop, specifically, and be sure to ask our sales associates to point you towards those products. 3) Donate: A direct donation could help alleviate some of the financial strain the women will be facing in the coming months: Click here to Donate to Burundi Always, we are thankful for the peace that Christ offers during times of distress and unknowns.

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