Affectionately known as “Mama Sunday”, Christine Ntahe (69) feeds street children in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, every Sunday. And has been doing it for more than 25 years.
“The work I do is vital and it’s very important,” said the retired children’s radio host at the BBC. “Most of the children I helped all grew up. And have their own families. I cannot imagine what would have happened if we had not intervened.”
When she started charity cooking in her backyard, she was cooking for 15 children. Today she is home to hundreds of children. And she does not just give them one meal a day. With the help of funds from donors, she dresses her children, finds them a place to sleep and sends them to school.
When asked about the moment that marked her most, she said, “It was the time when a kid I took off the street had a university degree.” The former host, has received numerous awards for her charity work, including one of the most prestigious awards for men.
The institution of the Bashingantahe, a sort of “wise men” committee, admitted her, making her the only woman ever to be admitted to this exclusive group of traditional councillors.