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Food Security Coordinator - Burundi
Burundi is a beautiful country bordering Lake Tanganyika with lush green hills during the rainy seasons. Year-round temperatures during the day range from warm to hot. Bujumbura is located in the western branch of the East African Rift Valley, situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Tanganyika and on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though Burundi is desperately lacking in wildlife, it is actually in Bujumbura that you have the best opportunity to see the most impressive creatures in Burundi, hippos! Despite being the largest city in the country, with a population of roughly 800,000, Bujumbura still feels like a ‘small town’ in many ways. There is a small close-knit group of expatriates, the traffic is rarely overbearing, and there are good, but limited options for goods and services. There are coffee shops, tea rooms, juice bars, and an array of al fresco dining options. Outdoor exercise is wildly popular in Bujumbura in the streets, soccer fields, and the main public park in town. The climate in Bujumbura is consistently warm and humid, though slightly cooler in the rainy seasons.

The European language most widely spoken in Burundi is French. The local language, Kirundi, is in the Bantu language family and mutually understandable with Kinyarwanda, which is spoken in Rwanda. Swahili is widely known, and it is taught in schools as a fourth language (after Kirundi, French, and English).

Christianity is the predominant religion with Islam as a minority.

Options for children’s education are available in Bujumbura.

As in many African countries, the biggest health risk to expatriates is probably traffic accidents. Malaria is common but avoidable with mosquito nets and preventive medicine. A variety of severe but vaccine-preventable diseases are also present. Medical care for basic illnesses is available in Burundi, but it is necessary to travel to Rwanda for higher-quality medical care, and medical evacuation to Kenya or South Africa is necessary for acute or emergency medical care (MCC Rwanda/Burundi subscribes to a medical evacuation service). There is not North American standard dental care in Burundi, but it is available in Rwanda. Professional counseling and mental health services are not available in Burundi but are available in Rwanda. MCC also provides third-party online counseling services as needed.

As in many places in the world, the COVID pandemic challenge was stressful in Burundi and responses became entangled with national political conflicts. Due to travel restrictions, it appears large-scale outbreaks of COVID have not occurred. Currently, land borders with some countries (notably Rwanda) are still closed. Arrival by air is allowed, but pre- and post-arrival testing is required as well as quarantining for several days in a hotel until test results from all passengers on the flight have been checked. The global distribution of COVID vaccines will be ongoing in 2021 and we hope that COVID-disruptions will dissipate by 2022, although economic effects may last longer.

A peaceful election and transition of power took place in May 2020, but the economic and infrastructure context can be challenging.
Mar 15, 2021
Jun 01, 2021
3 years
All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active participation in a Christian church or Christian community; and nonviolent peacemaking. MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.
  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, management, community development, or a related field.
  • Basic computer skills including experience with MS Office.
  • Skill in writing and editing English language documents.
  • Capacity to collaborate in a team.
  • Written and spoken French language skills a plus.
​Invitations to serve with MCC are contingent on the successful outcome of criminal background check(s).
The Food Security Coordinator will work primarily with Help Channel Burundi (HCB), seconded to the organization 80% of his/her time. In February 2020, HCB got approval for renewed funding by MCC and the Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB) for an additional five years for an agricultural extension project (initially started in September 2016). HCB is headquartered in Bujumbura, and its agricultural work is in the northern province of Kirundo and the southern provinces of Makamba and Rutana. The HCB food-security project shifted, at the beginning of the past three year cycle, from a prior food-for-work project to an agricultural extension project focused on improving farmer productivity. This is especially important since Burundi is one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. The project also has a focus on gender and village level savings groups. HCB is a relatively large local non-governmental organization working in community development and over the years has received grants from a variety of international NGOs (Tearfund, FAO, Help A Child, Kindernothilfe, etc.). In recent years, MCC has also facilitated Help Channel Burundi’s use of CFGB Emergency Food Aid funds to do short-term food aid projects responding to crop failures due to drought or other climate related events in the areas where HCB is implementing their current CFGB project.

The daily work of the Food Security Coordinator consists largely of participating in the team at HCB’s head office that leads project planning and design, conducts trainings for field staff, drafts and edits reports, develops data collection tools, does data entry and analysis, and carries out monitoring field visits to group meetings, participant fields and other project sites. Other occasional tasks include assisting HCB with other proposals or projects (i.e. short-term food aid), as time allows.

In addition, the Food Security Coordinator will do non-HCB MCC work 20% of his/her time, primarily as a Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) resource for the rest of the MCC Rwanda/Burundi team. This will involve keeping current on PMER principles and best practices and providing PMER trainings to MCC staff and partners as needed. The Food Security Coordinator will also regularly update the MCC PlanWin database for the HCB project. S/he will also connect with other MCC partners involved with or interested in agricultural work.

There are two other open positions in Burundi which may complement this position if a married couple applies.
Limited dental care available; Political instability; Occasional overnights; Occasional evening and weekend work; Occasional long days; Local church not supportive to LGTBQ+ persons; Local area not supportive to LGTBQ+ persons
Help Channel Burundi (HCB) food-security project (80%)
• Assist the HCB Program Manager on the MCC/CFGB-funded project with plan implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting requirements. Work will include analyzing data and incorporating lessons-learned in the project, with the goal of maximizing the positive impact for project participants.
• In year three of the project, assist with planning and implementing a mid-term evaluation (July 2022).
• Serve in a liaison role between MCC and Help Channel, facilitating communication on a day-to-day basis in consultation with Help Channel leadership.
• Identify areas of needs for capacity-building for the staff and opportunity for training, especially in the implementation of the CFGB-funded project. Help coordinate trainings, including with CFGB Agriculture and Livelihoods Technical Advisors (ALTAs) and external consultants and trainings.
• Participate in connecting Help Channel with other organizations doing similar food-security work through networking and researching what other organizations are doing, with the goal of cross-checking and benefitting from what has been learned in other projects.
• Participate in the daily life of HCB by attending regular meetings and participating in retreats and staff enrichment activities.

MCC PMER Support (20%)
• Stay current with PMER principles and practices for the benefit of the MCC Rwanda/Burundi team and partner organizations.
• Provide PMER trainings as needed.
• Regularly update the MCC PlanWin database for the HCB project.
• Connect with other MCC partners in their agricultural work (especially UCEDD and UCPD).
• Do the above work supervised by the MCC Representatives.

• Regularly attend a local church.
• Participate in MCC Burundi team life and responsibilities, such as team meetings, worker reports, and retreats.
• Model non-violent peacemaking in the workplace and community through respectful interactions with others.
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