Objective: sustainable development and job creation
The raison d’être of the socio-economic and cultural dimension is to give the entire community, and young people in particular, a sense of sociocultural fulfilment, to create jobs, and to provide a model of integrated and sustainable development. Another aim of this dimension is to guarantee the autonomy and long-term nature of Maison Shalom’s activities.
True development starts in the minds of the people making up society. Maison Shalom seeks to achieve this sociocultural and spiritual fulfillment through the library, through training in computer technology and through the recreational and educational activities of the Cinéma des Anges and the swimming pool. These activities broaden the horizons for the entire community, above all the young people.
Another goal is to set up a platform of services to facilitate life for the inhabitants of Ruyigi province and for visitors from other provinces and abroad: hotel services, restaurants, fuel supplies, car repairs, etc. In this way, Maison Shalom creates jobs not just for the young people it cared for and who were unable to continue their studies, but also for other young unemployed people. This dimension thus helps reduce the unemployment rate, which is very high in Burundi.
The socio-economic dimension is also aimed at the socio-economic reintegration of vulnerable young people who are too old to go to school. These youngsters are provided with occupational training and at the same time encouraged to work together in trade associations in the community. The training they receive in mechanics, carpentry, plumbing and sewing allow them to be independent and play a part in community development.
More than 90% of Burundi’s inhabitants live from agriculture and animal husbandry. It is therefore paramount to involve everyone working in this sector to achieve sustainable development. The end goal of Maison Shalom’s agro-pastoral activities is to create a cooperative movement for the province’s inhabitants, thereby raising the standard of living in the community, shielding the population from dependency on food aid and restoring its dignity.
The funds generated by the various services developed in this programme will also be used to finance Maison Shalom activities that do not receive external funding. The ultimate aim is to make Maison Shalom’s activities more independent of external financing with a view to guaranteeing they will continue in the long term.