By Fabrice Muhoza, Tevel Fellowship
My name is Fabrice Muhoza, 30 years old from Makamba province in Burundi. After hearing that the NGO Tevel initiated their work in community Development and that the pilot field area was the Makamba province, I felt this really matched my strong desire to contribute to the development of my country, and especially my native province. This, as well as my will to gain experience working with international volunteers, encouraged me to join Tevel Burundi.
Before working and living together with white people, I had some bad stereotypes that white people cannot live in villages; cannot listen to black people; that their role in Africa is giving orders and instructions to follow. During the eight months of working and living together with my white colleagues, I discovered a positive image of white people. They are partners, listeners and collaborative people.
During my time in Tevel, I discovered that Tevel’s approach is very different from other NGOs. Most NGOs give job descriptions to their workers and the workers task is to follow the instructions. This is not good because workers don’t use their brain or their imagination. Tevel gives their fellows and staff opportunities to detect and map the needs of the community and think about what they can offer that community according to their needs.
My thematic field is education. I work with three teachers’ associations which are two Primary Schools and one Art School. Among these three groups, the Art School is my favorite. This association is made up of nine teachers who are amazing; they are organized and have a strong desire to work with Tevel. With this association, we are working on promoting the school in the community; the association members have great ideas on how to promote it.
Once, a member of the association took the association’s money without the agreement of all members and used it for his own interests; this could have destroyed the association and the trust between the members, but instead it became a source of strength for the association. All members sat together and restructured the rules, including new ways of working and following every action of the association. Now, it is a much more organized group and the member who stole the money paid it back and asked for his pardon from the rest of the association.
My dream for Tevel is to see it covering the whole Burundian country; all Burundians could gain knowledge from Tevel and use Tevel’s approach in developing themselves and developing our country.
My dream for Burundi is first to have sustainable peace and then to have good leaders who serve their country instead of being served by their people. That is why my dream is to learn more leadership and use it in helping my country. I Hope that working in Tevel will be one of many opportunities to develop notions of leadership.