RWB map VectorRwanda-Burundi region was established on 25 March 1999. Before then, the two countries were part of a bigger entity called Central Africa Province, which included three countries: Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.

The Jesuits in Rwanda
The first Jesuits arrived in Rwanda in 1952 following repeated requests by Mwami Mutara III Rudahigwa, King of Rwanda. The Jesuits started a secondary school at Kabgayi which was then the headquarters of the Rwanda Vicariate. But in 1955, the Belgian government, which ruled Rwanda and Burundi as a UN Trust Territory, obliged the Jesuits to move their school to Usumbura (today’s Bujumbura), then colonial capital of Rwanda-Burundi. It is here that the Jesuits founded “The Inter-racial College of Usumbura,” later known as “Lycée du Saint-Esprit”.

The Jesuits returned to Rwanda in 1966. They would establish a novitiate at Cyangugu (today called Rusizi), Centre Christus - a spiritual centre in Kigali, and more recently, an academic complex comprising a primary and secondary school in Kigali.RwB Companions

The Jesuits in Burundi
In 1955, the Belgian authorities got the Jesuits to establish and run a secondary school in Bujumbura. The first Jesuits came from Belgium and the new mission in Burundi was linked to that of Congo, where the Belgian Jesuits had been present for over 50 years.

The Jesuits soon saw that it was necessary to found institutions of higher education. A Belgian Jesuit was first rector of the University of Burundi at its establishment in 1960.

In addition to the education ministry, the Jesuits would also be involved in agricultural development projects at Kiriri, spiritual retreats at Vugizo and then at Gitega, as well as pastoral ministries at Kiriri, Mubimbi and Gitega.

Today the Jesuits in Burundi run Service Yezu Mwiza, a Centre for the care of people affected by HIV/AIDS. With Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), the Jesuits accompany and offer help to refugees and displaced persons in Burundi.

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