Rather than favoring the religious elite, Jesus chose to spend time with the marginalized. Desiring to emulate our Savior, HOPE has a strategic objective to serve communities that are not open to the Gospel and those that have little access to microenterprise development services. Worldwide, the HOPE network intentionally reaches out to some of the most disenfranchised communities in the countries where we serve.
Serving the Batwa in Burundi
In 2016, HOPE Burundi launched a savings program with the Batwa, an ethnic group that has historically faced discrimination and abuse. Making up less than 2 percent of Burundi’s population, the Batwa rarely own land, and few have access to an education. Many Batwa survive by selling clay pots for less than 3 cents each. Often unwelcome in traditional churches, a large number of Batwa practice animism, a belief system that ascribes spiritual qualities to objects, places, or creatures.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. Psalm 103:6
Working with two local church denominations, HOPE Burundi provides discipleship, business training, and a safe place to save for the Batwa. Already, the ministry has grown to serve 534 group members in 37 groups. (A Batwa savings group is pictured above.)
For one group member, Christine (pictured), selling traditional Batwa clay pots wasn’t enough to support her family. But with livelihood training through the savings ministry, she learned how to farm and raise cattle.
With loans from the group, she bought goats, pigs, and a plot of land, in addition to using her savings to buy school supplies for her children. She shares, “[The Batwa] used to be behind in society. Now, I feel worthy and am not afraid.”
To learn more about how HOPE is investing in the dreams of families living in underserved communities, read the features in our annual report.