Abandoned Children of Burundi: God’s “Royal Pearls”

Roger Hayslip

The Nationwide Witness of a Restorative Family Ministry

There’s a wonderful phrase used in Burundian culture: “Eh’lkirezi” means “Look at the royal pearls.”  The phrase dates back to the time of kings and queens, describing a breastplate reserved for royalty.  Yet today these precious words are used to describe Burundi’s abandoned children, thanks to an amazing ministry partnering with World Challenge.  Across Burundi, Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home represents a powerful miracle taking place for hundreds of youngsters.

The tiny African nation of Burundi (next door to Rwanda) is deemed the earth’s poorest.  For years it has been torn by political and ethnic violence, with no end in sight.  The conflict has orphaned or separated more than 1 million children from their families.  That’s where Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home steps in.

Director Pacifique Nyozisenga was once an abandoned street child himself.  Seven years ago, he helped start the fledgling home, to offer shelter and an extended family to orphaned or abandoned children.  Yet soon the ministry shifted its energies, becoming a powerful force to restore separated families.  Since then, Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home has reunited more than 400 children with their families or adopted them into the families of Burundian Christians.

What this ministry accomplishes is monumental.  It’s hard to even locate a child’s family in war-like conditions like Burundi’s.  It can take years of dogged persistence, and Eh’lkirezi works with several agencies to see that task through.  Once the family is found, Eh’lkirezi oversees a long process of reintegrating the child into family life, ensuring everyone’s stability
and monitoring their progress.  Christ’s gospel is central to every stage.

Eh’Ikirezi Children’s Home has emerged as Burundi’s foremost voice for child advocacy.  It is a beloved and trusted partner for government agencies and non-government organizations seeking to help homeless, abused and neglected children.  Through its powerful testimony, a nation’s eyes are being opened to God’s choice pearls: its young people.

Thank you for taking part to reunite families in one of the earth’s neediest nations. If you would like to help, please make a donation using our secure online form. Your gifts of support and prayer help vital ministries like Eh’lkirezi Children’s Home bring the light of Christ all around the world.