The Buturi Project

Our mission is to engage in grassroots education and with the worst effects of extreme poverty in a remote village, Buturi, by introducing and integrating a series of self-sustaining programmes and by providing the tools for future sustainability, so encouraging and strengthening community life.

Buturi area is situated in Rorya District, in Mara region, off the shore of Lake Victoria, in the North-West of Tanzania. The population is 52,000+. Buturi community comprises 6 villages with a population of up to 9,000 in each. We are based in one of these - Makongoro. Makongoro is the 'exemplar' village The Buturi Project is focused upon, in partnership with Buturi School Academy. In time, we hope to reach out to the other 5 villages in the area. The villagers are mainly Nilotic people (from the Nile region), who migrated from Egypt and Sudan some five hundred years ago. They have their own language; Luo, (also known as Luo-imbo) and also speak Swahili (Kiswahili), the only generic African language. English and Kiswahili are the national languages of Tanzania, but few speak English in the villages. They are fishermen and subsistence farmers, typically living in thatched mud huts, without electricity and water. There is no safety net provided by the State, only provided by the extended family, who are experiencing increasing pressure from poverty, drought and climate change. There has also been a significant loss of manpower. Like many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Buturi has suffered from the twin disasters of AIDS and drought. Twenty-five years of AIDS has decimated the community, so that we tend to see the very young and old with the stronger, more capable generation missing. The older generation struggle to bring up their orphaned grandchildren. Buturi is an area typical of this situation. The overriding impression for visitors to the area is one of struggle, sacrifice and hopelessness.