Transformation in Dzaleka Refugee Camp

The largest refugee camp in Malawi is Dzaleka located in Dowa District, around 50 km from Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, Dzaleka was established by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1994 in response to a surge of forcibly displaced people fleeing genocide, violence and wars in Burundi, Rwanda and the D.R. Congo. Dzaleka Refugee Camp hosts around 5,000 refugees. Prior to becoming a refugee camp, the Dzaleka facility had served as a political prison to around 6, 000 inmates.

More than half of Malawians live on less than one US Dollar per day. The vast majority rely on subsistence farming. Industry is limited and major exports include: tea, coffee, sugar, and tobacco. Despite being a poor nation, Malawi currently hosts close to 45,000 refugees. Most refugees come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Malawi’s policies regulating the movement and the right to employment of refugees make opportunities to earn a living outside the camp very limited. Therefore, the majority of refugees are completely reliant on food aid and other external assistance for survival.

It is in this difficult environment that Amahoro Ministries for Communities works with the refugees and their host community in peace building and conflicts resolution workshops, counseling, access to a small business development, education and empowering christian. Amahoro Ministries for Communities (A.M.C) was created in 2008 by Pastor Charles Baraka , were left as a refugee for many years across Dzaleka refugee camps Malawi. With his experience, Charles and Gilbertine were make different by brings peace, counseling,forgiveness and unity in different communities living in refugee camp.

Community Development

Educate and facilitate communities to creatively design community owned solutions to meet their needs related to health, education, poverty, environment and gender, through empowering communities to use Biblical principles (Ps1:1-3) and operate cooperatives in their own richness for sustainable development.

Empowering women, youth and vulnerable families to improve their own lives by starting a mutual fund , use their propriety, gift and knowledge in their associations groups for starting small business and saving that will help themselves and other communities in nutrition and environment protection. Teaching communities to work together as one body within their difference ethnic groups. Several income generating initiatives are ready soon to start properly in different localities as the amount required is almost collected among them.

Healing Peace and Reconciliation

From the independence, both Burundi and neighboring gained independence from Belgian colonial rule. Demographically similar, the Burundi is approximately 85% Hutu, 14% Tutsi, and 1% Batwa. After an initial period of instability in Burundi, Tutsi tribe from inside the military took power, beginning almost three decades of Tutsi dictatorship. At several different points during the following decades, Burundi experienced massive group violence along ethnic lines. The Hutu-Tutsi and Batwa divide in Burundi is a post-independence phenomenon, resulting from the political use of ethnicity to consolidate power.

Among the worst massacres occurred in 1972, when Hutu groups tried to overthrow the government. The Burundian military responded with a coordinated plan of attack against all prominent Hutu: political and educated elites, as well as potential leaders, including university students, primary and secondary school children. Between April and July, government forces killed an estimated number of Hutu. More massacres and counter-massacres followed, each of which bore traces of the violence in 1972 that went unaddressed and unresolved.

From 1966 to 1988, Burundi was dominated by Tutsi leadership in the government and military. Throughout this period and into contemporary Burundi, violence has been fueled by extremists who proposed ethnic solutions to the political clash between Hutu aspirations for democracy and Tutsi fears of genocide. Some information from different persons said that Hutu have been largely marginalized and excluded from positions of authority and power. The information said too that Tutsi fears are based on a history of massacres in Burundi.
After yet another instance of ethnic violence in 1988 and under heavy internal and international pressure, the regime under President initiated a transition to multiparty democracy. The assassination of first President democratically elected was make many people to be killed, others displaced inside and a big number of people became refugees in neighboring countries.

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