Patrick Aylard - eMi EA team leader Steve Ulrich - eMiC team leader Hannah Beatty - eMi EA intern Jessica Fitz-gerald - eMi EA intern Miriam Wallace - eMi EA intern Robert Donahue - architect Jennifer Ho - architect Chad Gamble - civil engineer Amanda Ruksznis - civil engineer Jackie Branberg - computer engineer
Byron Meliefste - electrical engineer
Original Project Scope Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Over a decade of civil strife in Burundi has left thousands of widows, orphaned and fatherless children, and struggling families. The average Burundian widow is in her 40s and is caring for at least 4 children, and commonly additional orphans. In this culture, widows are outcasts. They have no income, no government aid, no advocates and they are frequently victimized. Burundian widows struggle to meet the basic daily needs of their children and themselves: food, shelter, medical care, clothing, and education. Although public education is available for children, they cannot attend school without proper supplies and clothing. Without an education there is no hope for a better future.
Sister Connection began in 2004 when an American, Denise Vibbert Patch, felt compelled to help with the Burundian crisis of widows and orphans. Denise teamed up with her Burundian friend, Joy Buconyori, who has suffered first-hand the atrocities of the war in Burundi and also carried a passion to help the widows and orphans of her country. Through the dedicated efforts of Denise, Joy, and many others, Sister Connection has been firmly established as an organization and continues to grow. They currently run a sponsorship program that sees 100% of all donations going straight to widowed families. As a result, children are being fed and educated and widows are finding their status raised in their communities.
The growth of Sister Connection has led to the donation of 10 acres of land to be used for a centre for vocational training, micro-enterprise, sustainable agriculture and housing. Sister Connection has already constructed a multi-purpose building and has begun construction on the first dormitory. Thanks to a previous eMi Canada volunteer, a site survey has been carried out and they are ready for the next step of planning. This eMi project will concentrate mostly on master planning all aspects of the 10-acre site, infrastructure design, and agriculture recommendations.
Sister Connection has set out to be the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out to the physically and spiritually poor in Africa. If you are willing to answer the call to look after the widows and orphans in their distress please consider joining us as we use our skills to serve God in Burundi.