Transforming Women’s Lives on the Road to Peace in Burundi

In Her Own Words

Marie Goretti Ndacayisaba in Burundi

“We all lost so much in the crisis…I started this work because I wanted my children to live a better life, to overcome my own pain, and be useful for my community.

Marie-Goretti, age 55, is the Executive Director of Dushirehamwe, meaning Let’s Be Together for Peace.

A national women’s network supported by the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund, Dushirehamew works to enhance women’s leadership, peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Burundi.

“Peace is for everyone. It is up to everyone to build peace. During crisis, different political powers struggle for power, while others are looking for food and water. We all have different needs and interests.

When we start engaging women in conflict transformation, we start by asking them to analyze the problem, understand the root cause, so that they can see beyond the manifestation of the problem. Whether it is political violence or domestic violence, we teach them to ask, why is this happening?

Right now, in Burundi, I see injustice, impunity and poverty. As a woman, the hardest thing for me is to face other women who have been victims of violence, who have lost their children.”

Ndacayisaba’s story shows the importance of engaging women in peacebuilding efforts at all levels to fulfill the vision of sustainable development and to promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

“Sometimes, I feel powerless. But when I work with other women, for our lives and for peace, I feel powerful.”

Learn more about the grassroots work of women like Marie-Goretti and our partner Dushirehamwe in Burundi, and follow them on Twitter: @asdushirehamwe and Facebook: @dushirehamewburundi

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