Burundi: Our Story

fair trade women's group in Burundi

Lydia working at Amahoro

In Burundi, near the shores of Lake Tanganyika, sits Amahoro ava Mw’Ijuru, a place where women seek peace that comes from above. At Amahoro the day begins and ends with song and devotion and is filled with laughter and the hum of sewing machines as the women work together on various projects.

Goreth Inarukundo began Amahoro in May of 2004 after spending four years at Amani in Nairobi. In 1994 she fled Burundi, eventually ending up in Kenya as a refugee, barely escaping the brutal wars raging in Burundi and Rwanda. When she left her home she vowed never to return. But after experiencing the transforming power of true peace at Amani, Goreth knew her home country needed this peace too and began making plans to return home with her husband, dreaming of establishing a project like Amani in Burundi.

Today, there are about 42 women who stitch at Amahoro ava Mw’Ijuru in Bujumbura. They craft beautifully designed products out of local fabrics found in the Bujumbura markets. Not only has Amahoro been a place of healing and peace, but it is also a place where women’s lives are impacted daily through economic, spiritual, and community support.

The women of Amahoro ava Mw’Ijuru remind us of the vast transformative power of God’s peace. There is now relative political stability in Burundi after decades of civil war, and women whose lives have been transformed by peace work together despite coming from different sides of a violent conflict. The story of Amahoro is an encouragement: it is a reminder of how people and communities are being made new because of peace.