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Case studies

Advocacy in Burundi: Engaging local government in CCT

Communities in Burundi engage local authorities in CCT processes

2024 Available in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese

A lady reads a book in front of a group of people

Niyonkuru Florence conducts community dialogues in Burundi. Credit: Paul Mbonankira

In Burundi, Tearfund has implemented church and community transformation (CCT) in six provinces. CCT helps communities to realise their potential, recognise the resources God has given them and use these to overcome poverty. 

Communities in Burundi have also integrated advocacy into CCT. This has enabled them to achieve good governance through support and intervention from local government and other development actors in order for them to resolve community issues. These partnerships with local governments were made possible through active engagement and dialogue between community leaders and government officials. 

In one community in Rumonge Province, people had to walk up to 10–15 km to reach the nearest health centre. This led to preventable deaths, as the long journey would often mean those who were seriously ill wouldn't reach the health centre in time. Through CCT advocacy, the community was able to advocate to engage local authorities, leaders and churches to build a health centre close by. 

The engagements and dialogues also helped local government leaders to see that CCT was a powerful tool and could help them to lead and address the community's issues. For example, some of the local authorities in Rumonge Province were trained as facilitators to take the lead in CCT implementation at community level, including the governor of the province. After the training the governor then went on to organise a workshop inviting 17 denominations to participate in CCT training and implementation. 

In other localities such as Gisazuba and Kimate, regular meetings at the local level are also organised by the local government leaders. In these meetings the community gathers together for training run by CCT facilitators where CCT is discussed and taught. 

This close collaboration has led to the local governments contributing labour for the building of the health centres, digging new roads as well as providing construction materials such as timber. For example, in Buyengero and Burambi – communes of Rumonge Province – the local authorities donated 30 iron sheets to build a health centre and 50 iron sheets to cover a school that was destroyed by heavy rains. In addition to this, denominations have also been engaged. The Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Bururi recognised the impact of the CCT work and contributed ten mattresses to equip Gitaba health centre as well as a bulldozer and construction machinery to support the communities in constructing the road to the health centre.

Burundi’s country director shared how this success is growing and being led by the church: 

‘In all of the communities where we have been working on CCT projects, there have been successful engagements with the government to garner support for various initiatives, such as building clinics, roads, schools and bridges. The local church played the role of being the salt and the light for the communities to address their issues.’

Due to the success of projects like this, all of Tearfund’s partners in Burundi are engaged in CCT advocacy, working hand in hand with the local administration when implementing projects. 


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