Bendigo man collecting for Burundi flood victims

PACKING: Selemani Ndikumana. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

PACKING: Selemani Ndikumana. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A BENDIGO man is aiming to collect 12 tonnes of clothing donations for flood victims in his home country of Burundi.

Selemani Ndikumana was spurred into action for his homeland after devastating floods hit the small east African nation back in February.

Burundi is one the world's poorest nations and has little ability to support its own citizens.

Mr Ndikumana said Burundian flood victims were living in huts without roofs, did not have access to clean water and children were going hungry.

"In Australia we have so much and I am blessed to now call it home, but for the family and community I left behind when I had to flee the country, I feel great sorrow," he said.

"My country which has so little to begin with has been struck by tragedy. In my home town people are struggling just to survive."

Mr Ndikumana came to Australia eight years ago after fleeing Burundi as a political refugee.

He now lives in Bendigo with his wife, Irakoze, and their six children.

TEAM WORK: Selemani Ndikumana and his youngest son, Opese, pack clothing for the shipping container to take to Burundi in 2 weeks' time. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

TEAM WORK: Selemani Ndikumana and his youngest son, Opese, pack clothing for the shipping container to take to Burundi in 2 weeks' time. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

"I have been here for six years and can think of no place in the world I would rather be. I love Bendigo and its people. Bendigo is my home," he said.

Local organisations Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, Uniting Care and the Seventh Day Adventist Church have been supporting Mr Ndikumana in raising donations.

Mr Ndikumana is asking local Bendigo residents to donate clothing, shoes and bags. 

He is aiming to fill a 12-tonne shipping container. So far he has collected eight tonnes.

The donated goods will be sold in areas which have not been affected by the flooding. The proceeds from the sales will go towards purchasing food and building supplies for Mr Ndikumana's flood-affected home town of Bujumbura.

The container will leave for Burundi in two weeks. 

To donate, call Mr Ndikumana on 0423 425 020.

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