First visit of Love in Action to the Batwa of Zege Hill
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
You may have read in previous articles of our partner, Jules in Burundi, and his ICT training
centre. Inspired by Afrinspire's work, Jules also runs an organisation called Love In Action, which provides crucial items to communities in need, like clothes, food, and school equipment. Jules is passionate about supporting communities. Here he talks of his motivation behind Love In Action: "we might claim to love others without selfish ambition or vain conceit, but the true state of our hearts isn’t revealed until we put our love into action."
In the last few weeks, Jules and a group of rural and urban youth visited the Batwa community of Zege Hill in the rural area of Gitega. Although the earliest inhabitants of the East African region, the Batwa are now a marginalised group having been forced out of their home forests in favour of Gorilla conservation. They are some of the poorest inhabitants of one of the poorest countries in the world.
On arrival, the group were warmly welcomed by some Kirundi song. They spent time talking to the families, visiting their homes and seeing some of their pottery. The group then
distributed some much needed clothes, shoes, and maize & beans.
Love In action targeted this community in Zege Hill for they live in absolute poverty - below half a dollar per day (37 pence). The community's main economic activity is pottery which is not sufficient for sustaining the average family of 5 children. According to Jules, also among this group "are ex-government employees; victims of the continued security instability who are both handicapped and entirely reliant on government support" .
Here you can see the group in the mountains, with the Batwa house on the right.
Love In Action have realised that this Batwa community have a strong need for training in order to survive in their current state with the little support they receive. As an established hunting group evicted from their home in forests, they are not equipped to survive in the world and region they find themselves in.
In Uganda, Afrinspire has been in contact with 3 groups of Batwa since 1997, (5 years before the charity was registered!). The families there have become friends over this period of time.