The small nation of Burundi sits in the heart of sub-saharan Africa, sharing borders with DR Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania. It had been a German colony until being "given" to the Belgians at the end of WWI. It remained part of Belgium until independence in 1962, and retains French as its official language as part of this heritage.
Burundi has the same primary ethnic groups as Rwanda -- the Hutus and Tutsis -- and faced the same genocide as Rwanda in the 1970's and 90's, but did not receive the same media attention or foreign aid. Decades of warfare and corruption has left Burundi the hungriest nation in the world according to the 2014 Global Hunger Index, and one of the three poorest countries on earth.
There is also an appalling lack of access to healthcare. With a population of ten million people residing in a country slightly smaller than the size of the Ozarks, Burundi has a physician density of 3 physicians per 100,000 people (compare with 900 physicians in Springfield, MO).
With ZERO residency programs in the nation, most of these physicians have no post‐medical school training. The best and brightest often seek further education elsewhere and rarely return to practice in Burundi. War. Hunger. Poverty. A lack of access to healthcare and education. This is not what God intended for his creation to endure, and we know that He grieves with us over these issues.
Hope Africa University
Burundian refugees took a stand against the darkness and started Hope Africa University (HAU) in 2000. The school quickly became the country's premier Christian university. The president of Burundi commissioned HAU to start a medical school in an effort to tackle the dire health conditions in the country (such as the sixth highest maternal mortality rate in the world). In faith, the leadership bravely moved ahead without medical faculty, without a teaching facility, and without a curriculum. Their prayers are being answered.
Kibuye Hope Hospital
In the mountainous farmlands of rural Burundi there lies a small 80-bed hospital which was recently designated as the clinical teaching site for HAU medical students. The facility is inadequate by any standards, but basic improvements are beginning to show. For example, the hospital just got consistent running water within the last year. Also a digital x-ray arrived recently and replaced the antique veterinary model that had run its course.
God has brought a team of missionary physicians and their families (the McCropder group) committed to serve and teach at Kibuye Hope Hospital. HAU's leadership is using this remote teaching hospital to bring hope to a broken nation in the name of Jesus. As they move toward this goal, they recognize the need for large-scale improvements to the hospital infrastructure and produced a master engineering plan that will serve as a roadmap for transforming this facility. When the master plan is fully implemented, Kibuye Hope will be a full-service referral hospital with 350 beds.
Currently a missionary engineer is also raising support to move his family to Kibuye to implement the plan to build and renovate the hospital.