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Simon RurihafiSimon Rurihafi (pictured right) is a coffee farmer who owns 350 trees—but he almost gave up on farming them.

In Burundi, the hurdles facing coffee farmers like Simon are many: The labor is demanding, farming techniques and expectations for bean quality have shifted in recent years, and there are gaps in the global supply and demand chains, making it difficult for smallholder farmers to connect with buyers at competitive prices. Simon recalls, “I thought of abandoning coffee in the past because of these challenges!”

On top of this, Burundian farmers have very few options to access financial services or training to update their farming practices, purchase additional land, plant more trees, or connect with buyers.

As a result, farmers have felt stuck, alone, and without options.

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When civil war broke out in Burundi in 1993, Edith Uwineza and her family sold their belongings and fled to Tanzania as refugees. It wasn’t until two years later that they were able to return to Burundi and begin life anew. Edith’s husband worked as the supervisor of a construction site and owner of a cement shop, and Edith managed a small roadside stand where she sold green peppers and tomatoes.

Despite her hard work and diligence, Edith found it difficult to earn a sufficient income and lacked the resources to expand her business. After learning about to Turame, HOPE’s local partner, Edith received a $30 loan that enabled her to sell a wider variety of vegetables at her stand. She has since taken out 14 loans, which she has used to diversify her inventory to include non-perishable items and charcoal for cooking. As Edith’s business grew, she began renting out her small kiosk to other vendors and moved to a local market where she could serve more customers.

Recognizing that she will eventually be unable to be as involved with her business as she grows older, Edith is using her sharp mind for business to plan for the future. She wants to purchase land and build a house to rent out, as well as continue her business through hired employees.

Today, Edith is a well-respected member of her community who takes care of five children, her sister, and her orphaned niece. She provides jobs for three families and frequently assists her neighbors in times of need. Edith testifies that through her involvement with Turame she has gained a family. “If I were to praise Turame, I would need to write a book,” she reflects. Seeing that God is the ultimate source of provision, Edith named her business Shimwa Yesu, which means, “Jesus be praised.”


Muti accessed her first loan of $49 from Turame, HOPE’s partner in Burundi, three years ago. Since then, she has taken 11 loans to help grow her business cultivating tomatoes and selling bananas, tomatoes, and goats. She is currently repaying a $105 loan. When her business began, she did not have the funds to raise goats, but now she can feed and fatten them before reselling the goats for a profit. Although her husband passed away, Muti has been able to provide for her three children and three grandchildren. “Turame has helped my family fight poverty,” she says.


“Turame both gave me access to a loan and helps me run my business,” Mathieu Karenzo says of HOPE’s partner in Burundi. Mathieu cultivates and sells beans, potatoes, cabbage, cassava, and rice from his home and from Gitega’s central market. He has just received his first loan from Turame for $81, but he has high hopes for where he can go. He wants to send two of his sons to vocational training, and he would like to save enough money to buy land and build a home for himself, his wife, and his six children. Only a few months after receiving his first loan, Mathieu says he can already contribute more to his church’s offerings and help those in need at his church.


Leonie and her husband are able to work together to provide for their three children. He travels to Bujumbura, Burundi, and purchases shoes, which she then sells in the markets of Gitega. Leonie has accessed eight loans from Turame, HOPE’s partner in Burundi. Her most recent loan was for $218. She says that her business has grown and the prayers of her community bank members have also encouraged her. She can now help sick neighbors when they are in need, and she can provide clothing and medicine for her own family. She and her husband were also able to purchase land. She hopes to buy a cow for her family in the future.


Three and a half years ago, Marie-Chantal and her now-husband were living together outside of wedlock. They wanted to be married, but they had not been able to afford a traditional marriage ceremony and celebration. Community members looked down on them for their unofficial union. Then Marie-Chantal accessed a loan from Turame, HOPE’s partner in Burundi. She was able to buy tomatoes from a wholesaler in Gitega and resell them at a private stand in a convenient location for a slightly higher price. Her income increased, and she was able to afford a legal marriage and the ceremony to accompany it. She has also been able to buy a pig and a goat, which now fertilize the crops she has planted.