Village Health Works is an extraordinary organization founded by an extraordinary Burundian, Deogratias Niyizonkiza (Deo), with an extraordinary story. Visit the website and watch the video of how Village Works got started, or you can even read Tracy Kidder’s book called “Strength in What Remains” that details Deo’s journey. As a young man, Deo watched many of his young friends and family die from easily curable diseases due to lack of basic healthcare, leading him to dream of becoming a doctor. When Burundi broke out in a brutal, 13 year civil war, he managed to escape and to land in NYC as a poor man who didn’t speak any English, who lived in Central Park, and who worked delivering groceries. Deo met some amazing, loving and generous people who saw a spark in Deo and helped him. Fast forward through an amazing journey through Columbia University and Harvard Medical School, and Deo returned to Burundi to find poverty and dire, preventable illness in a country still aching from the war.
In response, Deo created Village Health Works.
He started with the Sharon McKenna Community Health Center (Sharon was one of the people in NYC who helped Deo). The clinic has been providing care and rebuilding community in extraordinary ways, but the need is so much greater. Deo is now working on the development of the first women and children’s hospital in the country. The site already has a 10 kw solar system, and a 130 kw micro hydro system; but they need more; they need water treatment, they need more power; they need engineers; they need equipment; they need money.
Sextant is committed to helping fund and install expanded solar, water and waste systems on the existing clinic and new hospital campus. Sextant engineers and electricians are joining the team of professionals and volunteers working on bringing more health and even more hope to a community ready for change. A community starting to thrive again, but more needs to be done.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Donate Now — Donating to Sextant buys the system components for the solar panels, water purification and/or waste systems, and/or sends skilled engineers and electricians to the project to train local technicians as the components are installed. No donation is too small — nor too big of course! Click here to donate now.
Volunteer – if you are a skilled electrician, biomedical engineer, plumber, or carpenter and can help, take some significant time off to spend in Burundi, please contact us.
In-kind donations: Sextant is working with Mazzetti to equip the hospital. We are looking for medical equipment and supplies.
Buy a Ton of Hope: The current systems are generating carbon offsets. You can buy a Ton of Hope to help develop the needed infrastructure. Click here to learn more about Buy a Ton of Hope.
This project is currently open. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering on this project.