Tanzania’s Burundian Refugees Reflect on Their Basic Needs

by Apr 15, 2018

Dear World,

We want you to know that we have been eating the same food for three years. The rations are so low that some families only eat once per day. It’s also difficult to cook the little food that we have because we barely have any cooking utensils. For all our washing needs, we only get one bar of soap every three months.

Our opportunities are extremely limited, because we’re not allowed outside the camp. We cannot go sell food or collect firewood. Inside the camp, our homes are not adequate. We need more durable structures that stand up to the weather. Having only one latrine for every 16 people is not hygienic. If our children get sick, the hospitals are not equipped to take care of them. There is never enough medicine.

Women and girls need more information about menstrual cycles and other women’s issues. For education in general, we need more schools and qualified teachers. Some of us came from Burundi with education but found no opportunity to continue our schooling here.

At some point, it might be safe for some of us to go back home to Burundi. For others, nonetheless, it might not be safe to return in the foreseeable future. For those, we want the opportunity to immigrate to another country.

We want freedom and hope.


Adapted from conversations with: Edyssa, Remegie, Enock, Hawa, Carine, Denise, Diana, Astere, Leubain, Schadrack, Renovat, Diana, Steven, and Deo

Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter


refugees from Darfur, Sudan, living in refugee camps located in Chad.


Support iACT with your time and skills. Help us change the way the world reacts to humanitarian crises.


current capacity at the RUSA academies


The Value of a Refugee

If you had to give it a number, what percentage of your daily life activities do you have control over? For a group of Burundian refugees living in Nduta camp in northwest Tanzania, that number is 20%. It is an overwhelmingly low number. They do not have control over...

read more

To make something small, stronger

“In this training we learned so many things that will contribute to changing our community.” — Hawa Diana and the other 14 men and women who completed their first Little Ripples teacher training with iACT today spoke to the importance of peace for their community. As...

read more

A Life of Contrast for Burundian Refugees in Tanzania

Red dirt is everywhere in this region of Tanzania. It makes for a beautiful contrast with the shades of green from all the lush vegetation. We drove on a red road for 45 minutes from the small town of Kibondo to refugee camp Mtendeli where we began preschool teacher...

read more