Janvier Manirakiza

2017 Fellowship Alumnus, Burundi

Strengthening community responses to COVID-19 in Burundi

After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, 2017 Fellowship Alumnus Janvier Manirakiza founded Dreaming for Change, a nonprofit enhancing educational opportunities, economic development, food security, and agriculture in marginalized communities in Burundi. Dreaming for Change operates in rural villages and works with the local community, volunteers, and staff to build a healthy, educated, and peaceful community in Burundi and beyond.

At the end of 2020, the organization partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Burundi to implement the “Coronavirus Education and Food Security” project. This project helps prevent COVID-19 outbreaks by providing WASH training to the community and strengthening their kitchen gardening skills so that they can stay home, healthy, and clean.

With misinformation about the virus circulating, Dreaming for Change also collaborated with local officials to support community sensitization and awareness of COVID-19 signs and symptoms and the importance of handwashing and hand sanitizers. Additionally, they created materials in the local language to help enhance community comprehension. Dreaming for Change also created an informational video to be broadcast on national television and social media. Every community member who attended the campaign received soaps and materials to install a Tippy-Tap, a handwashing device. In the first round of programming, the initiative has reached 250 families.

Keep up the great work, Janvier and Dreaming for Change!