“I realized that my accomplishments in economics was just a gift I needed to use to help others. I felt called to teach, encourage, and help others manage their money in order to come out of poverty.”
Butoto Mahinduzi traveled to Beni in 2010 to the surprise of his father, who manages a small restaurant, mother who owns a small food stop. Understanding the importance of education for their children, Butoto’s parents do their best to provide educational opportunities for each of them. Some of his older siblings go to one of the best known universities in Congo — Catholic University of Bukavu. That is perhaps why his father was shocked of Butoto’s decision to leave their town and travel to Beni to study.
Amidst the anxieties of his first year of studies at UCBC, Butoto made good friends who encouraged him to study hard and to grow spiritually. This helped him as he confronted fears of failing as an economics student and ended up completing two years with academic distinction. Not sure how he might use these skills, he asked God for direction. “I realized then, that my accomplishments in economics was just a gift I needed to use to help others. I felt called to teach, encourage, and help others manage their money in order to come out of poverty.”
Now a UCBC alum, Butoto serves as the project manager for a Neema Foundation grant given to a local non-profit called Oneness Development Institute. ODI is using the grant to provide startup capital for women affected by violence to begin rabbit breeding projects. As the project manager, he establishes strong relationships between Neema and the women the grant serves. He prays with them, encourages them, and advises them on handling money and finding markets for their rabbits. His vision is to give opportunity, teach, and equip so that they can come out of poverty. “It is more than just evaluating and tracking funds, but it’s relationships with people so that the funds can be used well,” said Butoto.
He testifies that when he came back home after a couple years, his father could tell there was a change in him by the way he spoke. “Even though UCBC is a young university,” his father told Butoto, “I can tell you are really getting an education there.”Read more testimonials
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