• Print

Love made me an inventor

Maggy Barankitse survived Burundi's brutal civil war and founded Maison Shalom, an institution dedicated to saving the country's orphans and raising them in God's love.

September 13, 2011

During Burundi’s civil war in the early 1990s, Maggy Barankitse witnessed horrific acts of genocide -- in one night she saw 72 people slaughtered. Out of this experience she created Maison Shalom, a place for Burundi’s orphans to survive and thrive. Built in the village of Ruyigi, Maison Shalom has expanded into a sustainable institution that includes homes, businesses, schools, farms and other enterprises.

Barankitse insists that Maison Shalom is not an orphanage, despite its mission to aid children. First and foremost, she says, it is a story about God’s love.

“Maggy wants to foment a revolution -- she calls it a revolution of love,” said Emmanuel Katongole, founding co-director of Duke Divinity School's Center for Reconciliation who has written a book about Barankitse and other African leaders. “...not only in Ruyigi, in Burundi, beyond Burundi...to the whole world -- a revolution of love.”