Burundi: Maison Shalom may soon review its decision to suspend scholarships for some Burundian refugees

Burundi: Maison Shalom may soon review its decision to suspend scholarships for some Burundian refugees
The finding comes from an interview that Richard Nijimbere, country representative of Maison Shalom, gave yesterday to the voice of America. He said his organization had no plans to suspend scholarships for Burundian student refugees in Rwanda. At one point he talks about the issues of misunderstanding, and at another he lets it be known that these students have broken the laws governing the organization. It seems to open a door of dialogue to find a way out of this disagreement. Either way, elementary logic would dictate that these students, who for the most part were at the end of their studies, had the chance to finish them so that they could earn a living. Maison Shalom would also be delighted because it would have succeeded in its project. Otherwise, it would be giving up unfinished business. Will she then pull herself together and once again assist a hundred refugees whose scholarships had been suspended for almost 3 months? Wait and see, as we say in English. It is for her sake for her credibility and for the sake of the students who are currently at an impasse.
Indeed, 52 students (among those for whom Maison Shalom had suspended scholarships) from INES Ruhengeri who have just completed their thesis work have been refused the right to submit them and present their work in order to get their degrees. They must reimburse the school fees to the establishment. This is the decision taken by this university, whose legal representative is a servant of God. God is love (1 John 4: 8: he who does not love has not known God, for God is love), the Bible tells us. If he had shown a certain love for these poor refugees, he should be allowed to finish their studies and maybe deny them the diplomas before the money was paid back. That’s what other campuses that have such cases have done. These students finished their studies in very poor working conditions because for almost 3 months, they could not find enough to eat. A witness told us that they shared a plate of 600frwa between three and once a day.
After the suspension of their scholarships, these students sought help everywhere without success, especially since this decision fell on their heads without any explanation from the officials of Maison Shalom. The violations of the rules she talks about did not seem convincing, especially since the decision came in the middle of the 2019-2020 academic year for which they had already signed an agreement with the organization had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic which prevented further studies. These universities are also supposed to have agreements with Maison Shalom on how to pay these scholarships for these students because it is not a private student who pays the scholarship, Maison Shalom reimburses on the basis of a well-established students list . If these agreements really exist, these universities should approach Maison Shalom to settle the bill for this 2019-2020 academic year.
These students also appealed to state bodies (in the host country) in charge of education to request that these universities allow them to study and reimburse scholarships later; especially since these unfortunate refugees do not have the immediate means to pay for their studies. Some universities have already thought about this measure of clemency, but it is astonishing that an establishment run by a servant of God remains insensitive to the cries of the poor (read Matthew 25:35).
If Maison Shalom finds today that it is necessary to dialogue with these students (it is the children of the country in distress who must be saved); that she do so as soon as possible because those of Ruhengeri only have until January 15, 2021 to submit their work, otherwise they risk missing their diplomas
URN HITAMWONEZA once again asks, (as we have always done), charitable souls to do everything so that these refugees, who have made efforts despite the bad working conditions to arrive at the end of their studies, do not miss their diplomas. If Maison Shalom should reconsider its decision and think about paying these scholarships for these students, let it do it for everyone without exclusion, without favouritism. Justice and fairness in its projects, so positively appreciated by the refugees, will continue to do credit to the organization.

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