Andre Nsengiyumva is Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi, and has been working for Send a Cow for over four years.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
The level of poverty in Rwanda and Burundi. In particular Burundi is very poor, it is not very well known; we don’t get a lot of foreign aid so the country still has lots of problems.
One of the biggest issues is Burundi and Rwanda are two of densely populated countries in Africa which makes development efforts difficult. In both countries we have a high level of malnutrition. – in Burundi 56% of under 5’s are stunted. The number of people living under the poverty line in Burundi is about 60%.
To address these issues requires a lot of effort, funds and training for people to understand they can do something to change their situations.
Who is one of the most memorable people you have met since being at Send a Cow?
There is one lady called Cassilde, she is 57 years old and is very active. She has a very entrepreneurial spirit – from a small plot of land she become a millionaire in Burundian Francs.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I like sport – basketball, jogging, and swimming. I like going to church, playing with my children and going out with my wife.
What would you like people to know about Burundi and Rwanda?
People know that Rwanda and Burundi faced ethnic conflict in the past. I want to tell them this conflict is almost finished. Yes we have other problems but this conflict we are overcoming.
In terms of development, yes we are on a lower level compared to developed countries. But Burundians and Rwandans are active people – they are committed to work and are able to change their situation. They just need support from others.