Tanzania’s Burundian Refugees Reflect on Their Basic Needs

Dear World,


We want you to know that we have been eating the same food for three years. The rations are so low that some families only eat once per day. It’s also difficult to cook the little food that we have because we barely have any cooking utensils. For all our washing needs, we only get one bar of soap every three months.


Our opportunities are extremely limited, because we’re not allowed outside the camp. We cannot go sell food or collect firewood. Inside the camp, our homes are not adequate. We need more durable structures that stand up to the weather. Having only one latrine for every 16 people is not hygienic. If our children get sick, the hospitals are not equipped to take care of them. There is never enough medicine.


Women and girls need more information about menstrual cycles and other women’s issues. For education in general, we need more schools and qualified teachers. Some of us came from Burundi with education but found no opportunity to continue our schooling here.


At some point, it might be safe for some of us to go back home to Burundi. For others, nonetheless, it might not be safe to return in the foreseeable future. For those, we want the opportunity to immigrate to another country.


We want freedom and hope.


Sincerely,

Adapted from conversations with: Edyssa, Remegie, Enock, Hawa, Carine, Denise, Diana, Astere, Leubain, Schadrack, Renovat, Diana, Steven, and Deo