Belia fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when violence erupted in her home country of Burundi in 1993.
However, refugees were severely discriminated against in the DRC and two of her children died in the refugee camp where they stayed. Belia decided to return home but struggled to feed herself and her remaining children.
After the war, relationships with different groups in her community remained poor and Belia got involved in a fight with her neighbour over water for irrigating her small plot of land. She then heard about the work of Nduwamahoro, a SCIAF-funded project which promotes conflict resolution and peace building.
Belia attended seminars and workshops which taught her about the laws regarding land ownership and how to deal with different conflicts. After the training she brought together her community and shared the knowledge and skills she had learned which helped to end many disagreements among them. She is now asked by many members of her community to help when new conflicts that arise, including between husbands and wives.
Working with Nduwamahoro, Belia has also helped to set up a group of 50 families to rent land, and purchase seeds and tools to help them grow more food. Belia told us:
“In order to receive peace, you must give peace. By coming together we can share our problems and give advice to each other. We hope that the rice will help us earn money at the market so we can feed our children.
“I am thankful to Scottish people because of the help they have already given. Please keep Burundi in your prayers because there is still so much work to be done.”