As you know, Peace Education is not possible for people who do not have a place to live. There is NO way to promote peace, reconciliation, education, development, safety, and health among families who do not have a home. A home is one of the most basic factors contributing to the well being of a human being. That is why at JRMD we are building homes for the survivors of the war and for needy families as our main strategy is to promote and achieve peace. Home give youth and families a voice and a place in society. Building shelters for the survivors of the war and for needy families in Burundi helps reduce the spread of AIDS and cuts the mortality rate caused by unhealthy living conditions for thousands of Burundian families every year, whether Hutu, Tutsi and Twa.
Since its inception in September 1994, JRMD/YRWD has built 3,220 houses for 3,220 families. Rebuilding peace and establishing reconciliation has been promoted among Burundian communities and within the nation. This is being done through teaching a new way of living called peaceful cohabitation based upon the principle of kindness in one's behavoir toward others. In this way we prevent violence and war. We also create a positive environment that helps fight poverty and reduces divisiveness in the community by sharing the Love of Christ in Action. This is how JRMD has shown solidarity with those in need and distress.
DESCRIPTION OF THE HOMES JRMD BUILDS IN BURUNDI
The house that we build for a family has 45 square meters (485 square feet). This house accommodates a family of 7 to 10 people. It has 2 doors, 4 windows, a sitting room and 2 bedrooms. We stucco the house on the external walls with cement to protect the house from rain. After we have helped a family to build a home, the family who is the beneficiary of the house is responsible for plastering the inside walls of the house with mud or cement, so they are smooth. However, if they are not able to do this themselves, then our volunteers provide assistance. The family cooks outside of the house in a small kitchen that they build themselves. We also help the beneficiary of the house to build a toilet outside of the house.
The children sleep together in one bedroom and the parents sleep in another bedroom. There is also a sitting room. Most of the people we help build homes for sleep on mats, which they using for sitting during the day. When we are able to we provide families whose homes we have helped to build with simple mattresses, blankets and sheets, because they lost all their belongings during the war. One simple mattress costs between $25 and $30, and a pair of sheets and blankets costs $15.