I'm in Burundi, trying to finish an impact assessment project that I started 3 years ago! We are interviewing clients to try to assess the impact that their loan from Turame has had on their lives--health of the family, profitability of the business, social relationships, etc. The loan officers working with me on this project have been fantastic--putting in long hours and trekking many miles to find clients. Here is a picture of one client being interviewed in a rural village:
In the midst of working, I'm also trying to reconnect with friends here. On Sunday I went to church with a colleague from Turame, and afterwards her family showed me some of the new houses being built in her neighborhood. It is amazing (and sad!) that many new HUGE houses are being built in Bujumbura, which means the poor people are kicked off their land and forced to live farther up in the hills around the city. In the picture below you can see one of the mansions being built in the distance. The kids in the front of the picture live in typical small mud-brick houses that are currently on the same hill as these mansions. Such disparity!
Turame is growing and developing with leaps and bounds! Not only that, but there are many great things happening...I've really enjoyed hearing how God is working in the staff and the clients. There seems to be a renewed spirit of comaraderie, and they are especially excited about going on a staff retreat in October. The picture below is the head office in Bujumbura with their brand new sign on top. Very impressive, when you consider how far they have come from being a very small program just a few years ago!