Village Health Works (VHW) was born out of compassion, remembrance of a personal journey, compassion for the pain of others and an old childhood dream that became a reality in 2007.
It was scary when we began. I was afraid of a lot of things. We started from scratch with no money, working with people who had less than nothing while carrying their tragedies like a great weight. The war had just officially ended and wounds were still fresh. Insecurity was still around and there was no place to sleep. It was important for me to put my fears aside and keep my hope and dream alive to be able to continue the work. But spending so many hours feeling sad, powerless and watching the life of an entire community evaporate, was more exhausting than confronting the situation.
In the first four years of operation, we’ve seen more than 50,000 individual patients. We've installed solar energy panels to power our VHW facility, a VSAT internet system for communications and Electronic Medical Records, and a 14,000 gallon water collection cistern providing the first ever source of potable water on site and to the surrounding communities.
Burundi is beautiful. It is difficult to reconcile the spectacular beauty and the harrowing tragedy of this small country. Burundi is located in east central Africa and shares borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Tanzania. It is home to more than nine million people.