Since 2007, FAMA has focused primarily on restoring and rehabilitating a community of Pygmy families in Muyinga, Burundi. Historically, the Pygmies lived in the forest and survived as hunter gatherers, with no modern skills and no established villages. Throughout Africa, the Pygmies have long been one of the most marginalized people groups in the entire world. In Burundi, reportedly the eighth poorest nation in the world, they are the poorest of the poor and the most underserved members of the population.
In its effort to restore and rehabilitate Pygmy families, FAMA provides practical assistance that enables children to attend and succeed in school. In addition to providing enrollment assistance, school supplies and clothing, FAMA feeds families, and builds and furnishes houses with bricks prepared by the beneficiary families. More importantly, FAMA has changed the face of the village.
The people FAMA met in 2007, had no hope for the future and lived with a sense of crushing inferiority. Then, the parents had to be begged to send their children to school simply because they did not believe their children could succeed. Now, several of the children regularly perform at the top of the class and all the families want to send all of their children to school. The children want to be teachers, pastors, governors and “why not the President,” as one child exclaims!