Burundi is a small country in Central Africa which is situated between Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. It is a very poor country which is totally dependent on traditional agriculture, a rather inefficient way to feed its growing population. In addition, there is an ongoing fratricidal war since 1993, causing many deaths and leaving behind a large number of orphan children. At the same time, illnesses like AIDS and poverty put their lives in extreme danger.

In this context, the first of the two principal projects of HEC is to give a chance to these children to live a normal life. The HEC was initially established in 1993 in the beginning of the war but it works properly and efficienlty efficiently since 2006 and it is recognised as a Non-Profit Organisation (ASBL) in Burundi and Belgium.

Given the fact that many of the HEC's children have succeeded in entering a University and obtaining a diploma, the ultimate goal is to expand the accommodation and the access to food supplies, to school and medical material.
The HEC's action plan consists of some smaller projects, such as: a large-scale manufacturing of clay bricks for construction, a large-scale manufacturing of tiles to cover houses, the launching of a sewing and tailoring training, the construction of a welding shop, an agro-pastoral project on breeding and a project to produce juice and bottled beer made from bananas that would be a real breakthrough for the country. Last but not least, there is a great need for a stable electricity connection that should also be meet in the near future.

The second main project of HEC is about the eradication of leprosy and the treatment of sick people in Burundi. Today there is an increase in the number of infected individuals and there is a high risk of contagion.
Among the cases detected, many present disability which is mainly caused by their late transportation to a hospital or to the non-existence of this kind of facility. Actually, the five following provinces are the more affected: Rutana (Southeast), Bururi (South), Cibitoke (Northwest), Bubanza (Northwestern) and Makamba (South).

HEC's goals are to inform people, as leprosy is a disease that can be cured, to establish testing, care and rehabilitation centres, to make the drug and surgical treatments available to everyone and to enhance the reintegration of the diasabled people into the society by creating relevant jobs.

The Priory of the Kingdom of Belgium & the Grand-Dutchy of Luxembourg is substantially supporting the HEC project as part of its noble humanitarian and philanthropic mission under the supervision of The Commandery Saint Anthony of Castille’s hospitaller, Confr. Dr. Anselme Nyabenda, OLJ and Cons. Scolastique Nininahazwe, MLJ. 

Article made by Confr. Agamemnon Antoniou, MLJ (PR-Officer for the Priory of the Kingdom of Belgium & the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg)

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