As we get closer to Christmas, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the things we need to do to ensure the day goes off without a hitch. And it’s also easy to forget that for many people around the world fleeing war and living in poverty, they have much more important things to worry about than whether to cook turkey or ham next month.
This season, a number of bloggers are joining the fight against poverty, and I want to tell you guys about Buchami’s story.
Ndayizeye Buchami was born in Burundi, and if you’ve ever wanted to see proof that you can turn a terrible situation into a positive one, he’s an excellent example. Buchami lives with his kids and wife in a refugee camp, and has managed to make a living as a tailor, after receiving help from Oxfam.
In 1999, Buchami moved into his first refugee camp in Tanzania, and a few years later he met his wife. 10 years later they (and their four children) moved to their current refugee camp.
Residents of the camp are dealing with a shortage of food, and whole families must survive on small portions for up to a month. Buchami knew he needed to make some extra income so his family could have more food, and took up tailoring to earn some extra money.
Buchami previously worked as a teacher, and after all of the schools were closed he learned how to sew, proving that for people who are motivated and need to support their families, they can turn a bad situation into a better one. Buchami is hoping to improve his workshop so he can continue to succeed as a tailor in the camp.
Buchami isn’t alone in his situation, and the continual unrest and fighting in Burundi has ensured that Tanzania is dealing with a huge influx of refugees into areas that once had small amounts of people. For the Nyarugusu refugee camp (which was originally set up for refugees from the Congo), this means a shortage of space. There have been three new camps set up to try to help arrivals from Burundian but all of them need improvements to sanitation, along with emergency supplies.
Oxfam works in both Nyarugusu and Nduta, and provides support for those trying to work, emergency food, sanitation facilities and water. Oxfam aims to provide a safe and sanitary environment, along with helping to improve infrastructure in the camps and also helping residents to gain new skills and create an income.
This Christmas, take some time to think about people like Buchami, who are living in refugee camps. For just a few dollars, you can help people around the world who are living in these camps, and juts $2.50 can provide a family with 25 water treatment sachets, which would give them enough clean water for a month.
Donating just a few dollars a month can make a huge difference to people around the world. Get involved, and let’s end poverty for good. Check out www.oxfam.org.uk for more information.