Who are we?
We were founded by a group of runners wanting to help others. We’re now made up of runners, walkers, couch-potatoes, students, kids and others who are working to help people in Burundi. Although we are based in Austin, Texas, support comes from all across the United States and abroad.
What do we do?
The Gazelle Foundation builds and funds clean water projects in Burundi, Africa.
What kind of organization are we?
We’re a charitable public foundation with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.
What do the people in Burundi need?
The people in Burundi need clean, drinkable water. Burundi is one of the poorest countries not just in Africa but in the world and often overlooked by other charitable causes. The country has suffered through decades of civil war.
How do we help them?
We work directly with communities to build water projects. We typically work with an on-site Burundian project manager who oversees construction of each project. We have also worked with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that have a physical presence in Burundi.
How well will our actions create the desired outcomes for our beneficiaries?
Our efforts directly impact improvements in quality of health and daily life. That has been shown through the completion of the eight projects which serve more than 15,600 citizens as of February 2013.
How can I learn more about the water situation in Burundi?
Travel with us this summer to visit the projects, meet the beneficiaries, and learn first-hand of the work we do and how it changes lives. In 2011 and 2012 we took more than 30 individuals ranging from ages 17-60+.
What do we do with Central Texas youth?
The Gazelle Foundation engages with Central Texas youth to help them understand the importance of clean water and how their actions can help other kids half way around the world.
What kind of difference can I make?
About every $25 you contribute through donation, sponsorship or participation can change another person’s life forever by gaining regular access to clean water.
How are we organized?
We are a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Texas. We employ one part-time administrator and are mostly driven through volunteer efforts. This minimizes overhead and maximizes our giving potential.
What is the Gazelle Foundation’s mission?
The Gazelle Foundation improves the quality of life for people in Burundi by providing access to clean water.
What are the Gazelle Foundation’s values?
Sustained transformation, integrity and results.
What drives us to do what we do at the Gazelle Foundation?
The Gazelle Foundation’s founder Gilbert Tuhabonye was born in Burundi, a small mountainous country in east central Africa. His family was Tutsi farmers. Gilbert’s love of running was forged early. He ran to get water for his family, to school, and he loved to race his friends. in the sixth grade he moved to boarding school. Gilbert began running competitively. Gilbert became national champion in the 400 and 800 meters as an 11th grader.
On October 21, 1993, the centuries-old war between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes erupted in horrific reality. The Hutu classmates at Gilbert’s school, their parents, some teachers and others forced more than a hundred Tutsi children and teachers into a room where they beat and burned them to death. After nine hours of being buried by the corpses of his friends, and himself on fire, Gilbert used the charred bone of one of his classmates to break through a window. He jumped free of the burning building and ran into the night, on charred feet and survived one of the most horrible massacres in the long Tutsi-Hutu war. He ran from that horror into a new life.
Now, years later and more than 8,000 miles from Burundi, Gilbert Tuhabonye is a celebrity in the world of running. He went on to graduate college at Abilene Christian University where, despite being covered with scar tissue from his extensive burns, he was a national champion runner. Gilbert continues to compete as an elite athlete and owns and operates a coaching program called Gilbert’s Gazelles. With his boisterous personality and friendly disposition he is by all accounts the most popular running coach in Austin, Texas where he lives with his wife Triphine and two daughters, Emma and Grace. Gilbert is thankful for his life and success. The Gazelle Foundation is his way of giving back.
What is the Foundation’s relationship with Gilbert’s Gazelles?
The Gazelle Foundation and Gilbert’s Gazelles are two distinct organizations. Gilbert’s Gazelles is a coaching and training program owned and operated by Gilbert Tuhabonye. More information on Gilbert’s Gazelles is available at www.gilbertsgazelles.com.
The Gazelle Foundation is an independent, charitable foundation. Several of our board members and volunteers are or have been active members of Gilbert’s Gazelles, however we operate independently of the training group.