History of UCE: Burundi

Bishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho presides over Makamba Diocese, which is one of five dioceses in the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi. Makamba Diocese has 165,000 members, 18 parishes, 152 local congregations, 22 priests and 152 evangelists. Bishop Nyaboho, concerned about the rate of HIV/AIDS in his diocese and aware of the remarkable success against HIV/AIDS in Uganda, decided to implement the same strategy in his diocese.

In October 2005, he and Mrs. Annociate Kwizera, (a teacher and the diocesan Mother’s Union worker) visited Uganda to learn more about the UCE outreach approach and participated in an outreach in Bushenyi district, Uganda. Upon their return to Burundi, they developed a modified UCE strategy which they felt would be most suited to Burundi’s culture and life and people.

Bishop Nyaboho is convinced that the UCE model can be implemented successfully in Burundi and in a recent interview said, “We need to talk about abstinence and fidelity. Young people must be taught that it is worth their while to wait before they engage in sex. They must be taught the value of being faithful to your spouse”. The UCE-Burundi Charter was written and signed by three Anglican Bishops, three other church leaders (affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches of Burundi and the Roman Catholic Church) and five government employees/parliamentarians/educators.