Burundi: The suspension of scholarships for refugees by Maison Shalom satisfies the power of Gitega (part 2)

Burundi: The suspension of scholarships for refugees by Maison Shalom satisfies the power of Gitega (part 2)
We were talking yesterday of 52 students from Musanze (northern Rwanda), Burundian refugees, who benefited from the support, as scholarships studies, on behalf of Maison Shalom, which are today in a situation of distress because this organization has just suspended, without valid justification, these scholarships, when some were almost at the end of their studies. The explanation we are talking about can be found in an e-mail that the Country Director, Nijimbere Richard, sent to a certain Rénovat. We allow ourselves once again to reproduce the extract as it is for those who have not read our previous edition. The excerpt from the message reads: ’’ ’You also knew you had to wait for Maison Shalom’s response. The fact that you then unilaterally decided to return to campus without waiting for a response means that you agree to take charge of your training without the help of Maison Shalom, since you have decided to ignore it « . »
We recall that these students, who benefited from the support of Maison Shalom without any difficulty, were ordered to write individual letters requesting the renewal of the payment of their scholarships during the year while the agreement states that the renewal is annual. They waited for a response which was slow in coming. When the University reopened the doors, they decided to report to campus to avoid sanctions and the risk of losing that support as stipulated in the same agreement (of which we have a copy). When the answer came out, it was negative: no more payment of scholarships by Maison Shalom. Very bad news for these students who for the most part were at the end of their university studies.
We learn that they are not only 52 as announced yesterday, but more than 70 students, Burundian refugees, who are currently at an impasse. It would be difficult to understand that the main reason for this suspension of scholarships is the explanation that Ricard Nijimbere provided, especially since Maison Shalom does not want to communicate on this file. Are they right? Are there eels under the rock? We are committed to discovering it by all means.
We have already ruled out the hypothesis of a lack of funding because they have found funds for newcomers who want to enrol in college. Logic would dictate that those who will finish soon are first assisted to support the new ones later.
We also learn that students who have connections or relatives among the staff of Maison Shalom are negotiating to see if there is a way to put them back on the list of students still benefiting from Maison Shalom’s support. Among them, eight medical students would have a better chance of resurfacing on this list. Which simply means that the logic of order and fairness is gradually disappearing. We all thought that this mess, this favouritism, was the business of Gitega’s military clique, but this behaviour seems to have pursued us even into exile. If these students were to show their anger, would Maison Shalom be willing to take responsibility to the host country for the mess this bad decision may cause?
We dare to call the decision bad. There, we weighed our words because, one, it was not explained to those concerned and to those who became aware of this case; two, because it endangers young Burundians, who, despite their refugee situation, hoped for a better future with graduation. Their desperation risks pushing them to forced repatriation and it is Gitega’s power that will be happy because to see them again automatically means to kill them and toss them into the lakes and rivers as he usually does.
There is a risk that this issue will prompt public opinion to ask many other questions that require answers, but are difficult to find. What would have motivated such a decision, which, it seems, is not the first within this organization? Where do funds normally come from to finance refugee youth training and other projects and how are these funds normally managed? We will come back to this in our next editions.
URN HITAMWONEZA urges that the Burundians in good faith, especially those in the diaspora, mobilize to collect money to support these students, who moreover were almost at the end of their university training, so that they finish as planned and graduate. These young students are the future of their families and of our country. Let everyone make this problem their own so that together we can find the necessary means to enable them to complete their studies. WhatsApp contact: +31685638237
Email: urnhitamwoneza16@gmail.com  Twitter: URN HITAMWONEZA
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