A subsistence farmer in Burundi said he wants to donate 100kg of maize to Ukrainian refugees amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the European country. According to BBC, Adrien Nimpagaritse, who is also a former refugee, explained his donation was a “token of love” to Ukrainians escaping the violence in their country.
“As a former refugee myself, I thought of offering some help. I am a peasant farmer, I don’t have much to give but I have a loving heart,” Nimpagaritse said. “Looking at the pictures, I saw women and children dying. I don’t have a voice to contribute in bringing solution to the conflict, but I can donate some of what I have cultivated as a token of love.”
In 1996, Nimpagaritse, who was then a four-year-old orphan, escaped to Tanzania after his home country got engulfed in ethnic violence. He ended up spending some of his childhood years at the Mutenderi refugee camp. Nimpagaritse eventually returned to his native Burundi in 2007. He was 15 at the time.
“I saw what being a refugee is like – we could hardly find anything to eat,” he recalled. “If somebody, a neighbor, offered you just a cassava leaf and water you’d greatly appreciate it.”
The 30-year-old husband and father of three is appealing for a representative at the UN refugee agency to come for the maize he intends to donate to Ukraine. “I would also encourage anyone with such a heart to help likewise – it may assist around 20 families,” Nimpagaritse said.
“Personally I can afford to offer 100kg of maize, it’s not enough, therefore, if someone else adds on more, it will help.”