Chancelle Bamuhaye, the young activist with extraordinary compassion and commitment to helping children

A graduate of the Light University of  Bujumbura in the Faculty of Communication for Development, Chancelle was a child journalist from 2012 to 2016. In 2019, the United Nations Development Program awarded this native of Kayanza the prize for the best volunteer of the year during the celebration of the International Volunteer Day. She has implemented the “Dusangire” project that won the 3rd place in a competition organized by the Ministry of Communication, Information Technologies and the Media for the most innovative young girls and women using ICT tools with a strong social impact. Today, she is the founder the non-profit organization Hope for a Better Future « HBF » whose mission is to promote, defend and protect children’s rights in Burundi.

United Nations Development Program awarded Chancelle Bamuhaye the prize for the best volunteer of the year during the celebration of the International Volunteer Day in 2019. Picture: All Rights Reserved

Seeing her endeavor since 2018 in fighting for children’s rights, Chancelle is not only an excellent and dedicated activist but also has enriched the lives of the entire pigmy village of Busekera in Muramvya province where she started her organization. “Since 2019, our organization provides school materials to vulnerable kids especially pygmy and albino kids from four provinces namely Cibitoke, Gitega, Muramvya and Muyinga each school year. It also donates school benches to school located in rural areas”, she confides.

Advocacy throughout social media

Having been trained in 2015 on the use of social media for social change (“Social Media for Social Change”), Chancelle Bamuhaye decided to create accounts on different platforms in order to advocate for vulnerable children. She begins to spot children with serious illnesses. “I would take the photo and post it on social media with text calling for help. I started with a child from Ngozi who had a tumor in his eye. In less than 4 days I had already had the necessary sum (700 US dollars) and the child was treated in Rwanda. Now this child is cured,” she proudly tells us.

According to the activist Chancelle, using social media to advocate for disadvantaged children and carry their voice farhas helped many children. To date, her organization has so far more than 300 children whose education is on her care. “I took these few children because it fits with the means I currently have. I don’t want to give a child two copybooks and a pen at the start of the school year and then come back the next year not knowing if the two copybooks and a pen were able to cover the whole school year. All these children, I take care of them day by day. I have to know that such a child needs this or that throughout the school year”, she tells us .

Dusangire project, the fruit of pity and compassion

When Chancelle arrived at the Busekera village in 2017 in Bukeye commune, Muramvya province, she was touched to learn that, in this village, no child had completed their studies. Even those who are at school today, they have never seen a teacher, engineer, doctor, … from this village who can serve as a reference for them to follow in his or her footsteps. « I wondered what I could do to help children from this village to go on studies and graduate. I thought doing something to give the chance to the children of this village to study and see their living conditions change one day”, she recounts.

It wasn’t until then January 2021 that Chancelle created, through her organization the Dusangire project which aimed to create a school canteen at that Batwa village of Busekera. Today, the canteen is feeding over 300 kids every day. “The goal of this canteen is to fight against school dropouts caused by hunger and also fight against malnutrition to under 5 years old.

Apart from feeding the children, Dusangire project is centered on and the granting of school materials to children from the Batwa community, children from poor families, children who have been in the street and who have been reintegrated into their families as well as empowering those children’s families. 

Through the Dusangire project, we just rent cultivable land and buy seeds while the parents of these children are the ones to cultivate fields until the harvest” she explains.

Convinced that education is the key to a country’s development, the activist Chancelle says she is proud of the current level of her organization though there is still a long way to go. “I don’t have a child yet. But to see that there is a child who can count on me, to see that there are more than 300 children who, when they need a pen,copybook, uniform… come to me, I feel proud. It revives me, comforts me and strengthens me when I realize that I am contributing to the development of my community,” she rejoices.