Volunteers will be delivering envelopes throughout the village. Please donate what you can to this charity. Donations can be posted through the letterboxes at the Church Hall or the Reading Room, or can be brought to church services and other meetings. If you prefer to donate online please click the Christian Aid logo or scan the QR code and this will take you to the dedicated St Mark's collection envelope.  

Life in Burundi

In Burundi, malnourishment and poverty affect more than 70% of the population, making survival a daily struggle. Jobs and food are hard to come by, and those who have homes often have no electricity or running water.  

For Aline, life was a constant struggle. She was married young and gave birth to her eldest son, Fisto, when she was just 14 years old. Aline experienced constant abuse at the hands of her violent husband.  

A few years later, Aline faced even more devastation. Her husband married another woman, forcing  Aline to flee. He prevented her from taking their children with her, and in a further act of cruelty, told the local community that Aline was mentally ill and unable to care for her children.


"I wandered the streets, asking anyone for a place to sleep. Those who showed me kindness would let me stay for two or three days, but it was difficult. People would insult me and treat me with contempt. They forgot I was a human being. It filled me with sorrow." - Aline .

Hungry, scorned and alone, Aline took her first step towards her new life. She started by participating in a transformative three-day community workshop, funded by Christian Aid.  

‘I came out with amazing knowledge and skills. The trainer restored a sense of hope and energy in me,’ says Aline.

She was taught how to form a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) and establish a steady income, though our partner Network of Religious Confessions for the Promotion of Health and Integral Wellbeing of the Family (RCBIF). VSLAs mean people can save for their future and borrow money to kickstart small rural businesses. With all she had learned, Aline’s dream of getting her children back finally felt possible. 

With a small start-up loan, Aline started trading avocados and peanuts locally. With her profits, she bought a bicycle so she could transport greater quantities of goods to markets further afield. Eventually, her hard work had finally paid off, and she had earned the money she needed to rent a house.  

Once Aline secured a home for herself, her three eldest sons were able to escape their father and join her. They told Aline that their father had abused them and sent their three young siblings to live with different members of his family.

Aline still hopes that she’ll be reunited with her youngest children in time. 

Today, Aline lives peacefully on her own plot of land in her village. She’s baked her own bricks and is building a strong home for her and her children in every sense. Now Aline can afford food, clothes and essential healthcare for her family. She’s also purchased solar panels so her children can do their evening homework by electric light. 

"I like to feed my family with the produce that I grow, such as beans, vegetables and corn. I am so happy that we are together. Now my children feel supported as they have a parent who can meet their needs."