Edouard from the MEO Center in Bujumbura

As a social assistant for AVSI Burundi since 2004, I have come to define an assistant as someone capable of:

  • Supporting children on acquiring self-consciousness and discovering their worth and dignity.
  • Educating.
  • Being an authority figure and accompanying children in the difficult process of growing up.

“The AVSI Foundation focuses on the value of the human being, the individual. Taking this as a starting point has allowed me to think of my work and of those I help in another way. Aid is not always material, many times it is enough to show someone that you share their needs and seek to promote their worth and dignity through cooperation and teamwork. Based on this, I have to remind the beneficiaries that they should not depend on external help.

“Thanks to the different experiences we social assistants have lived at the MEO Lino Lava Center, we have been able to see how many of the people we help have now learnt valuable skills. One, for instance, has been learning how to grow vegetables to better their diet and reduce their nutritional problems and produce surplus crop that can be sold for a profit.

“Another very useful skill that beneficiaries have developed is that of creating and managing personal savings.  We delivered several trainings on this topic and there are now 3 credit groups in place. Savings are  used to finance small activities for people to generate revenues and the amounts loaned are to be paid back at a minimum interest rate. The first group, counting 20 members, has already started financing projects.

“These, like all initiatives at the MEO Center, are geared towards empowering people to become autonomous one day.”

Edouard Karikurubu is a Social Assistant at the MEO Lino Lava Center.


Experiences are to be lived, but they only have meaning if you communicate and share them with others. -Edouard Karikurubu