Gaudiose Nininahazwe

Born 1970, married, three children, online journalist on the website of Radio/ Télévision Nationale de Burundi, member of the Schoenstatt Women’s Academic Movement

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

As a woman in the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt, as a member of the “Chalice Family” (name of the academic circle in Burundi), I learned to create order in my daily life through Mary’s school. Little by little I have grown in my prayer life.  I have also learned not to do things like the others, but to do them the way I should.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

I knew God very early on, but I did not feel as close to Him as I do today. My mother was very pious, but we children only went to Mass in order not to upset our mother. She was very devoted to the Virgin Mary. For example, she always went to the shrine at Mont Zion Gikungu on August 15th. Since I started going to the meetings of the Schoenstatt Movement frequently, however, I gradually underwent an inner transformation.

What do you see as the challenge for women today?

The biggest challenge for women in Burundi, I would say, is first of all poverty. Women are willing to accept anything that alleviates their need, even if it contradicts their faith. Another challenge is the disunity in marriages. Married women often face many difficulties, for example, they suffer from their husband’s infidelity.
In the school of Mary, women learn to cope with such situations so that they can overcome discouragement. They follow the example of Our Lady, who gives us the strength to overcome all difficulties, she who has experienced all the sufferings of the world.

What do you want to change in this world through your life?

I would like to contribute to a change in our world, in Burundi, so that each and every one can receive the special grace and protection of the MTA, her maternal love that makes us triumph, and strive to live his/her life after the image of Mary.