We are traveling to Burundi to participate in Ramadan activities and to visit the IQRA Deaf Education Center. We are surprised to see how many children run towards us with flowers in their hands and hug us as soon as we land in Bujumbura. We discover that the children are IQRA students. We're curious as to why they're so fond of people they've never met before. When we asked Bisibo Amani, who is in charge of IQRA, she said that previous volunteers brought gifts for the children and played games with them, which is why the children are so excited when someone from Turkey comes to see them.
Bisibo takes us to the training center. He enthusiastically describes all the rooms, the garden, and every part of the center. At that time, she takes care of every child we meet with a motherly attitude and fixes their clothes. Most students take exams. In every classroom, they greet us with smiles and sign language, and we show our love for them in their own language.
At the end of our short tour, we see the table she had prepared for us in the garden. She talks about herself while we taste Burundi food. Her father was a Muslim and her mother was a Christian when she was little. During her high school years, she meets a deaf Muslim girl who attents school with Christians. She asks the girl what she is doing here. She says she couldn't find such a group for Muslims. Bisibo feels ashamed and something starts to sprout inside her. In the following years, she learns sign language and develops projects for hearing-impaired children. She is a little afraid at first because of the burden she goes under, but with the grace of Allah; her family still grows. Now Bisibo has dozens of projects in mind that she has developed for children in Burundi.
SUPPORT HEARING IMPAIRED CHILDREN
The next day, we set out to follow the circumcision organization in the Muramvya region and visit families whose children were circumcised before. We leave Bujumbura and enter the lush forests of Southwest Africa. We see beautiful landscapes. When we come to the hospital where the circumcision is performed, the families welcome Bisibo with loving smiles. It means a lot to them. We see that gifts are being prepared for the children who will be circumcised in the garden of the hospital. We give clothes and food gifts to children who come by after their circumcision.
We pay visits to families whose children have been circumcised by our foundation and bring them food. We meet the women who prepare coal bales while walking through the village and have a brief conversation with them. They make sixty cents off a large bale that they sell in small pieces. This is how they make a living.
Because of the problems in Congo, people fled to Burundi. The country, which already has a high population density and economic difficulties, has welcomed its neighbors. We are about to embark on a difficult journey to deliver food to those in need in the refugee camp. Before we get more than a few kilometers, one of the vehicles breaks down, and we have to wait for a replacement. We set off again after carrying our belongings. Our new vehicle breaks down about an hour later, forcing us to continue on the road with only one car. For more than 1,400 meters, we are constantly climbing uphill with our vehicle. We notice people walking alongside the road. They either attend school or transport the products they have collected from the field. Even four- to five-year-olds can carry their own weight. The refugee camp can be seen in the distance. We learn that this region is home to 14 thousand Congolese families. When we return to the camp to distribute Ramadan food packages, the children greet us once more. Our hearts are filled with the love of those families who had to seek refuge in one of the world's poorest countries. We return to Bujumbura after delivering gifts to the people.
In order to distribute food in Kinama, we go to Nur Ala Nur Madrasa, where 250 women recieve education. Many years ago, Ntakirutima Zawadi saw that her neighbors had insufficient religious knowledge and decided to teach them in her own home. Along with them, she also improved her knowledge in Islam. The madrasah, which she named Nur Ala Nur, grew day by day. Ntakirutima also takes care of nine children in need, including five orphans. She meets their needs by producing vegetable oil at home. Her biggest dream is to have the madrasa continue its activities even after she passes away.
On our last day in Burundi, we are having iftar with children at the IQRA Deaf Education Center. Bisibo decorated the garden like a country wedding, both to make us happy and for the children to have a nice evening. We distribute food to the children and when the call to prayer is called, we break our fast with them. After the meal, we try to sit down with the deaf staff of the center and have a conversation in sign language, they always smile. They feel very pleased when people make a little effort to learn their language.
Bisibo tells us the stories of children. By finding hearing-impaired Muslim children in Burundi and the surrounding countries, Bisibo provides physical and psychological rehabilitation for orphans as well as children whom are abondoned by their families. Bisibo Amani does her best for African Muslim children.
After a beautiful evening, we say goodbye to these people whose efforts we admire and return to our country.