Where we are from

GLAPD represents communities from four nations from Africa’s Great Lakes’ region

Burundi

Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is emerging from a long and painful ethnic conflict between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis which, between 1972 and 2000, cost the lives of approximately 300,000 Burundians and left hundreds of thousands displaced. About 85 percent of Burundians are of Hutu ethnicity, while 15 percent are Tutsi and one percent are Twa (or Pygmy). Nearly everyone speaks the official language of Kirundi. Burundians also use French, mostly in the business sector, and Swahili, primarily near Lake Tanganyika and in the capital of Bujumbura. Read more about our customs and culture.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of theCongogained its independence in 1960. A dense tropical rainforest covers the vast central interior. More than 225 ethnic groups live in the DRC. The four largest tribes—Mongo, Luba, Kongo, and Mangbetu-Azande make up about 45 percent of the population. Though there are more than 700 local dialects spoken throughout the country, French is the official language and is used as an ethnically neutral way to communicate. The majority of the population lives in rural areas, and many laborers work on farms, producing crops like cassava, corn, bananas, and coffee. The eastern provinces used to be a main source of food for the DRC, but continuous looting of crops by rebels and lack of transportation has severely damaged production. Read more about our customs and culture.

Rwanda

Rwanda is the second smallest country inAfrica, and is the most densely populated with more than 900 people per square mile. Fallout from the genocide along with chronic food insecurity, frequent droughts, and poverty has prevented many children, especially girls, from enrolling in public school. Most Rwandans work in agriculture for a living, growing coffee, tea, bananas, sweet potatoes, sorghum and beans, as well as raising livestock. Read more about our customs and culture.

Uganda

Uganda gained independence from the United Kingdom in October 1962. Nine years later, a young army officer named Idi Amin seized government control. In his eight year dictatorship, Amin killed some 300,000 people before being forced into exile in 1979. High unemployment rates and food insecurity face most Ugandans, especially in rural areas. Many communities face chronic hunger, and the World Food Program estimates that over 30 percent of children are stunted from malnutrition. Read more about our customs and culture.