Burundi is a small landlocked country in East Africa bordered by Rwanda, The Congo and Tanzania. Due to persistent civil unrest, ethnic violence, and the spread of HIV/AIDS, Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries, with over 80% of the population living below the poverty line of US$1.25 per day. Education is also a major issue in Burundi with only 12% of children receiving a secondary education, a figure that would be much lower for the Deaf.
DMI has planted 5 Deaf churches in Burundi that minister to over 700 people each week. As well as allowing the Deaf to gather for worship and hear the Word of God, the churches are a focus for the community life of the Deaf. 11 evangelists are working to plant new churches and spread the message of God’s love throughout the Deaf community.
In 2013, DMI established a primary school for the Deaf in Burundi which is currently at its full capacity of 35 students. With only two other primary schools for the Deaf in all of Burundi, demand is high and there are many children on the waiting list for places.
DMI is also active in various development projects in Burundi, including:
- HIV/AIDS awareness and training
- Sign language training for Deaf with no formal education
- Economic activities such as carpentry and sewing workshops