Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Mental Trauma Victims in Burundi

Suffering from trauma is difficult under any circumstances. But when you are living in one of the poorest countries in the world, you need hope and all the mental health resources you can find.

In 2014, Sister Marie Jeanne, BM, opened the Centre D’Ecoute GACIRO in Gitega, Burundi. “Our Centre helps about 100 people regularly,” Sister Marie stated. “For many years Burundi was racked by internal wars. We saw many family members and friends brutally murdered. Then there was an influx of refugees from surrounding countries. This added more stress to an already over-stressed people.”


"After a long period of political problems and tribal conflicts, many people need to reconcile with others and within themselves.”

Fr. Damien Rwabukamba, M.Afr., Burundi

Suffering from trauma is difficult under any circumstances. But when you are living in one of the poorest countries in the world, you need hope and all the mental health resources you can find.

In 2014, Sister Marie Jeanne, BM, opened the Centre D’Ecoute GACIRO in Gitega, Burundi. “Our Centre helps about 100 people regularly,” Sister Marie stated. “For many years Burundi was racked by internal wars. We saw many family members and friends brutally murdered. Then there was an influx of refugees from surrounding countries. This added more stress to an already over-stressed people.”

Sister Marie added: “We rely on benefactors and a small fee paid by our clients. My Congregation gave the funds to build the Centre. But it is not enough to support our professional staff and Centre activities. We need to raise $23,000 right away to build up awareness and provide the skilled help our clients need. The people we serve need a clear sign of hope. It is too easy for them to get discouraged!”

Your financial support is a gift to our Missionaries. We rely on you to help in situations like this. I am hoping that Sister Marie’s plea for assistance is met with your generosity – with the most generous gift you can make.

The Centre is prepared to give individual and group counseling with professional therapists. The volunteers are well trained in the effects of trauma and all the other problems that come with it: violence, poverty, and emotional instability. The goal is that with counseling and support the people will become self-reliant.

“When people are hopeless they think nothing can help,” offered Sister Marie. “Yet with just the right motivation – professional help – their lives can be turned around. Our mission is to build the people’s self-confidence so they can look after themselves materially, spiritually, and emotionally.”

Although her task may seem daunting, Sister Marie is a woman of great faith. And that is what she needs – not just the financial assistance to fund this project, but the spiritual support to bring hope to a people who have lived in despair for years. And this is where you come in. Here’s what I am asking you to do:

First: Pray for Sister Marie, the staff, and the volunteers at the Centre – that they will have the strength and perseverance to continue to serve day in and day out.

Second: Sign the enclosed ‘spiritual support card’ that we will communicate to Sister Marie so she knows we understand her challenges and pray that the people will respond positively.

Third: Send your most generous gift so we can provide Sister Marie with the funds she is seeking.

Trauma is difficult to work with. It comes to us in many shapes and sizes and in many people. In our neighborhood it may be time to look and see how others are hurting – give them some slack – maybe even do some crisis intervention. Whatever we choose, it is our turn to offer hope to someone who is seeking a better life.

Sister Marie is counting on you. I hope that we can count on you to be as generous as possible. Thank you for your loyal support!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development

 

P.S. We need your help and prayers to guide people living with emotional pain to an abundant life. Any gift ($15, $25, $50) will make it possible and important for the people of Gitega, Burundi. My promise of prayers and a grateful heart!