A day at Maison Shalom

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A new initiative: ITEKA Micro-finance

Initially, the goal of Maison Shalom was to protect child victims of war. After 17 years of working in the community to provide assistance to orphans, street children, young children and babies in prison (infants with their mothers) and the children of poverty-stricken parents, Maison Shalom has observed that there are still poor people in need of help. Much of the population lives in extreme poverty. Eradicating that poverty is the only lasting solution to the problem. To do this, people must be able to start small productive agricultural or pastoral projects, run small businesses, set up workshops – they do not need aid distributions. No matter how modest, however, such initiatives need seed capital. Because the people concerned are too poor to put up the collateral for a bank loan, they are cut off from financing. In Ruyigi, there is no microfinance company. The idea and mission driving this new initiative, ITEKA Microfinance, is to help eliminate extreme poverty by developing saving and microcredit services for people with very low incomes. Those people can then produce, have purchasing power to meet their needs, and save. The idea is to provide the impetus for the socio-economic development of the poorest sector of the population.

Maison Shalom launched this new initiative at a conference attended by the governor of Ruyigi province, a parliamentarian representing Ruyigi province and other dignitaries on 27 May 2011.


Reintegration of a street child

Amédée N. (in white trousers and red sweater), 14, left school in 5th grade after running away from home. He started living rough, selling peanuts to cafés, exposed to all kinds of dangers. Maggy came across him at 10 p.m. in the street and took him home with her. 

Conseil de famille

Social worker Charlotte and Swiss intern Daniela went into the field to find members of his extended family so that he could be reintegrated. They called a family council. One of his paternal uncles agreed to take him in. Amédée has returned to school as an auditor. In September he will repeat the school year.


 “This credit allowed me to send my children to school and to contribute to the economic life of my family.”

Mrs SIFA de Kinyinya benefited from a credit on behalf of "Iteka Micro Finance" in August 2012 and was able to begin a restaurant service very close to the market of Kinyinya. She says that her family life evolved a lot financially; that she was able to send her children to school and that she contributes in the life of her family. " I had no luck to have a credit in a bank and I did not hope to see a so big enjoyment in my family, my children all went to  school and I do not always have to ask any more to my husband for the money  to feed my family " she said. 


She calls all the persons of her locality, especially the women, who generally depend on the income of her husbands, to go to do the training courses of this micro finance to benefit credits. 

“I thank the Maison Shalom for having thought of people without financial income to release them from poverty. She concluded.

Iteka Micro Finance has already granted the credits of 163.241.500 Burundian Francs to 1217 families since November, 2012.