Marie Vialatte

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Burundi, return to the country of my childhood ...

My name is Marie Vialatte, I'm 20 years old, I'm French. Before coming to live in Belgium, I lived in Africa during my first 12 years, including 4 years in Burundi. Which is a first reason why I went back with Iriba to see this beautiful country that I had left 11 years before! I heard about Iriba through a friend who works at the European Union Delegation in Bujumbura, whose project to build a health center immediately sold me! To come to the assistance of this poor people, represented a lot for me! I feel at home in Africa and therefore I feel concerned about their situation especially since I knew the 91-93 war period.

It is really once there that we realize the shift, essentially material, that exists between them and us and it touched us a lot. During the two weeks we were on the site, it was a real pleasure to be able to bring some of our help to the village of Mugomera in northern Burundi. We felt useful and wanted to be more and more! Every time we arrived on the site, the children rushed to us. What a joy to be able to make them smile, distract them and bring them a little cheerful! From day to day, we saw the walls of this health center come up, which made us proud because we could not disappoint all those people who were counting on us and who were united with us in the work to form our long chains of mud and brick!

Speaking of union, having shared this project with young people from Congo, Rwanda and Burundi was something very enriching to be able to immerse oneself and imbibe their culture different from ours ( but which is no less interesting!). The debates and discussions undertaken between us have allowed us to learn and think differently in relation to social, political, health or safety topics, which are not even the subject of reflection in our Western countries. .
To conclude, this trip was a wonderful experience full of sharing and exchange. But above all full of solidarity which, I believe, is a key word that helps to move things forward very quickly and that allows to accomplish all the feats possible and imaginable. Because together, whether you are black or white, nothing is impossible!

Marie Vialatte Participant