Christine Nthae
“I was called the Sunday Mom”
Christine Nthae’s humanitarian journey started with providing meals in her home to children affected by armed conflicts. Since January 2022 she is President of the Burundi Red Cross.
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Christine Nthae

“My name is Christine Ntahe, but in Burundi where I am from, my nickname is Maman Dimanche (Sunday mom). I was born in a community on the countryside, set in an inspiring landscape. I grew up with modest means, surrounded by a big family. Our life together was characterized by a spirit of solidarity and mutual help in moments of joy and of hardship.

During the worst moments of the armed conflicts that Burundi experienced, I felt an escalating need to look for common ground. From 1993 to 2013, I devoted myself to help and relieve the suffering of the orphans, unaccompanied children who took the path of exile alone towards the neighboring countries (DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania) and those who lived on the street.

At the risk of my life and often while receiving threats from those who did not believe in my humanitarian actions, orphans and street children were my guests of honor for sharing a Sunday meal served with human dignity to make them forget their suffering for a moment, not having to dig through garbage bins looking for something to eat. During the conflict, I managed to serve meals to about 200 children every Sunday, 150 children on Saturdays and a hot meal to 50 children during weekdays after school, also providing 1200 children with school kits. As a result of this humanitarian assistance 300 children have completed secondary school, 70 of them have completed vocational training and 50 have completed university studies.”

“My wish is that current and future generations can experience the power of humanity and make it shine in families, in their communities, and across all countries”

– Christine Nthae, Burundi

“In my professional role as journalist, I worked for the national radio of Burundi for 20 years. Through a radio program entitled "Let's chat with children" a program for children - by children, I worked to give these children a voice and get a sense of community. My wish is that current and future generations can experience the power of humanity and make it shine in families, in their communities, and across all countries.

Through my reports in different corners of the country, a women's program was hosted at the Ijambo studio of the American NGO "Search for Common Ground". During this project I discovered women leaders who risked their lives for peace and national reconciliation. Inspired by their stories, I wrote a collection of testimonies entitled "Elles, A Tribute to the Forgotten." The book describes the role of courageous women in Burundi during the 1993 conflicts, women who worked for peace and to restore trust in and between communities.”

2014 Christine Nthae started as chairman of her branch unit, in 2017 chairman of the branch and in 2020, the region. In January 2022 she was elected President of the Burundi Red Cross.

 

Christine Nthae

Burundi, 2014

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Over 75 countries have established quota policies to ensure more women have leadership roles within domestic politics.

– O’Brien and Rickne, 2016

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