Touch the Nations founder, Katja Starkey, first visited Burundi in 1999, and met a remarkable woman, known by the street children as “Mama Bread.” Katja was invited to help in feeding the famished children she had been reaching out to with the little resources she had. Every child was given 2 bread rolls. After being severely mistreated, this gesture was the very beginning of trust. Katja could not forget that experience, so when she returned to her teaching career in Omaha, Nebraska in 2003, she saved one third of her salary to purchase an orphanage and officially start a 501c3. Mama Bread, who had founded the Guilgal Center in 1997, was pouring herself out to encourage and support people who had been orphaned and widowed by war. Katja knew she had to get behind this local Burundian woman and help make her visions come true.
I enjoyed talking with my Burundian friend Suzanne about Christmas at Bwiza Home. Those who needed clothes received them and they had a feast. Some of the older youth requested, in place of this, to have a portion of the Christmas money to travel to their region of origin. Suzanne explained how important this is […]