Each week this summer in WOW (Wide Open World), Tenth kids are focusing on a different country where one of our global partners works. Students are sent home with a sheet profiling our partner and his work and another sheet helping them connect to that country’s culture. We encourage families to pray specifically for the partner family of the week and to help their children further explore. This week we will highlight Burundi. Children ages 4 through grade 6 are invited to join us in the Catacombs at 6:30 PM every Sunday throughout the summer as we explore what God is doing around the world.

Focus on Burundi

Look at a map and see if you can tell why Burundi is sometimes called the “heart of Africa.” Sadly, a twelve-year civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi forced many people out of their homes and has made Burundi the poorest country in the world. Nine out of every ten people work as farmers. They just barely make a living. In fact, the average Burundian makes just 41 cents a day. That means that he can work all day and not even earn enough to buy a bowl of Rice Krispies! Most people never ever see a doctor and if someone lives to be sixty, he is considered really, really old. Although most Burundians consider themselves Christians (the majority are Catholic), only a handful of pastors have had any training and just over half of the people can read their Bibles.

What's it Like to Live in Burundi?

Burundi is very hilly. Since the tsetse fly which carries the dreaded sleeping sickness lives in the valleys, people build their houses on the hills. Usually people live with their extended family—their aunts and uncles and cousins—all together on one hill in a walled compound called a “rugo.” If a child is lucky enough to go to school—only half are, they probably have to walk a long ways barefoot; shoes are a luxury. Classes often have 50 to 150 students. At night, people enjoy making music, telling stories and playing riddle games.

You can get a glimpse of every day life in Burundi here.

You might enjoy watching Burundi drummers or listening to Burundi worship music..

Food in Burundi

Most people eat beans—usually red beans—at least once a day. Rice and bananas are also common. Even wine is made from bananas. Meat is something special, eaten only a couple times a month.

Beans and Plantains (main dish)

Slice up one onion and brown it in 2 T of hot palm oil. Add 2 cups of red beans and four sliced plantains. Stir-fry for two to three minutes. Then cover with 4 cups water and cook till plantains are tender. Serve with rice.

More recipes

Art Project/Game

Children play urubugu, known elsewhere as mancala, by hollowing out holes in the ground and using stones or seeds. You need to make two rows of six holes and you need four seeds or stones for each hole. You can find the rules here.


Go to the McCropder’s blog and using the search window in the upper left corner of the screen, find the answer to these questions:

  • Type in “Gustav.” What kind of animal is he? How big?
  • Type in “Banga.” What is a jigger?
  • Type in “Map.” Look at the second map. Why does Africa look like a limp balloon?

Speak Kirundi

Hear John 3 read in Kirundi

Yesterday Ejo
Tomorrow Eejo (pronounced like Ejo)
Hi/Good morning Mwaramutse

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Terri Taylor. © 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org