Safe havens: Burundi’s re-education centres protect formerly detained children
RUMONGE, Burundi, 28 July 2016 – “Before, we used to play drums for the kings,” says Yves*, 17. “It’s a big part of Burundian culture.” As Yves leads his group of drummers into the chorus of a new song, one would never guess that he has spent more than two years of his life in Mpimba – Burundi’s biggest, most overcrowded prison.
A seven-year ordeal: A street child’s experience in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 29 June 2016 – Aimable was sleeping on the side of the road one evening. A car stopped near him and the driver asked why he was there. He explained that he is homeless and spends his days in that area asking for money. The driver drove off, but a few minutes later, returned with milk and bread. This was one of Aimable’s happiest memories from sleeping on the street for nearly seven years. He doesn’t have many nice memories from this time.
Youth lead by example in Burundi
RUMONGE, Burundi, 13 May 2016 – On the surface, the town of Rumonge looks like any other picturesque port city. Located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, it is known mostly for fishing and trade. But like many towns in Burundi, there is another narrative emerging.
Mothers take on malnutrition in Burundi
KIRUNDO, Burundi, 22 February 2016 – “Prices here have increased,” says Anastasie Sinzobakwira, cradling her son outside the Kirundo hospital. His name is Joseph. He is 5 years old, and severely malnourished. “One kilogram of rice was [BIF]1,200 last year, and now it’s 1,500. It’s the same thing with sweet potatoes. They were 1,000 before, and they’re 1,800 now.”
Stolen childhoods: In Burundi, growing up amid violence
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 17 December 2015 – Deep within one of the recent hotspots of violence in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, in a modest courtyard dotted with muddy puddles, sits a white-haired 89-year-old carpenter at work on a new stool. He and his wife, who leans heavily on a crutch, are the sole caregivers of five young grandchildren, aged 8 months to 11 years.
In Burundi, starting again from scratch
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 17 November 2015 – "I was bored in Nyarugusu Camp. There were no games, no school," says Lutfi, 15, who fled from Burundi to Tanzania recenty with his mother and sister. "I would write letters, sentences and numbers on the walls or on the tents to study."
Energy equity for vulnerable children in Burundi
BURURI, Burundi, 11 November 2015 – Perched atop of one of Burundi's thousand hills, in a landscape dotted by the occasional coffee bush, lies Muzima, a tiny village with a handful of homes 12 km (7.5 mi) from the nearest town.
Repeated migrations and increasing vulnerability in Burundi
KABONGA, Burundi, 20 August 2015 – “We had to leave the camp during the night,” remembers Ernestine Ntirampeba, 25. “I put my smallest daughter on my back, and my other daughter walked. The children were complaining – they were hungry. I kept telling them to be patient.”
Finding safe shelter in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 27 July 2015 – “We heard a lot of gunshots where we live, in Musaga,” says Brice, 7. “I was scared. I cried all the time.”
In Burundi, refugee movements exacerbate food insecurity
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 14 July 2015 – “When I look at my granddaughter, I start crying,” Anesie says in a low voice. “She looks like a two-month-old child. She doesn't have enough appetite. She coughs and she has fever.”
In Burundi, quick action to contain cholera
KABONGA, Burundi, 1 July 2015 – “It was on the Monday that we came back that she started to feel sick,” remembers Uziya Nyabenda, speaking of her daughter, Esta. “On Wednesday she began having heavy diarrhea and vomiting, so we brought her to the health centre. I suspected it was cholera – and I was afraid.”
Burundian children cross to safety, and back again
KIRUNDO, Burundi, 5 June 2015 – “It felt awful to wake up in the morning and realize we were not at home with our mother,” says 10-year-old Divin, tearfully describing life with his sister Centia, alone in a transit center in Rwanda. Centia, who is 12, sits next to him, her head bowed. She tears up every time she remembers their escape.
In Burundi, inclusive learning builds a path to achievement
BURURI PROVINCE, Burundi, 28 April 2015 – Joyce Maniratanga, 9 years old, recently returned to Burundi with her family after living many years in Tanzania as a refugee. Now she is a second-grade student at the Gakora primary school, in Rumonge Commune, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
In Burundi, bringing the fight against child killers closer to home
GITEGA PROVINCE, Burundi, 20 April 2015 – Isidonie Niyonzima and her husband Oscar own a small plot of land in Itaba commune in central Burundi, where they farm staple crops like cassava and potatoes. Isondonie recalls when the youngest of their four children, 7-month-old Anny Love, got sick with diarrhoea.
In Burundi, a one-stop shop for children living on the street
NGOZI, Burundi, 16 April 2015 – Located in the province with some of the country’s highest child malnutrition and child mortality rates, Ngozi, Burundi’s third largest city, also has a high number of children living on the street: more than 400 were recorded in 2010, and the current number is likely much higher.
In Burundi, new beginnings for conflict-affected communities
MAKAMBA, Burundi, 27 February 2015 – Deep within the province of Makamba in Burundi, at the end of a long, red dirt track, lies a modest palm plantation. A group of youths are hard at work, harvesting palm nuts to transform into oil for use in soap. But this is not just any group.
Small LED device piloted to empower women and power rural communities in Burundi
GITEGA PROVINCE, Burundi, 8 October 2013 – In the blistering mid-morning heat, Pedro Guerra, a UNICEF child protection specialist, and Leonard Ndirahisha, a coordinator for Burundian NGO FVS Amade, trail up and down the collines – hills – of Gitega province in central Burundi. They are on a mission to collect feedback about the portable LED lights they have given to various households to test. The experiment is part of a pilot project to bring safe and affordable light to rural families.
A strike against chronic malnutrition in Burundi
MUYINGA PROVINCE, Burundi, 17 June 2013 – Jacqueline Bangirinama knows hunger. She sees it when her 2-month-old daughter clings to her breast, suckling without respite. She sees it when her 2-year-old daughter cries restlessly, unable to find comfort, and when she and her 4-year-old sister fight over a small piece of boiled potato, hours before the family’s one meal a day. And she sees it when she sends her 7-year-old son, who looks small for his age, off on his long walk to school with an empty stomach.
In Burundi, guaranteeing children's rights to protection and play
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 28 February 2012 – Dozens of children are gathered on a vast green field in Maramvya, a district of Buterere in the suburbs of Bujumbura, the capital. The children, including Joseph, 7, Emelyne, 8, and Jean-Claude, 9, are indulging in a once rare activity: play.
Masala Boly’s story: Life as a United Nations Volunteer with UNICEF Burundi
GITEGA, Burundi, 2 December 2011 - It was during my experience as a volunteer in a Mexican orphanage that I realised something: I want to work with UNICEF. Now here I am, a few years later, with a university degree under my belt and lots of motivation for sale - I am a UN volunteer for UNICEF in Burundi and proud of it!
In Burundi, prevention services help reduce risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
KIRWENA, Burundi, 30 November 2011 - Suzanne Ingarukuhda, 28, is proud of her healthy baby boy – and for good reason. Both she and her husband, Salvatore Ngendabanka, 52, are HIV-positive, yet their son, six-month-old Emmanuel Iradukuna is HIV-negative.
In Burundi, interactive theatre empowers local communities in the fight against malaria
NGOZI, Burundi, 3 October 2011 - “Give it back! You will not sell this! Malaria is killing our babies!” screams a young woman, as she engages in a passionate tug-of-war with her father over a blue plastic bag. A crowd of onlookers quickly gather around the duo, offering up their cheers, laughter and enthusiastic applause.
With help from UNICEF and community volunteers, families start over in Burundi
BUBANZA, Burundi, 21 July 2011 – When Etienne returned from 12 years spent as an illegal refugee in Tanzania, he met his son Denis for the first time (names changed to protect family privacy). In 1999, before Denis was born, Etienne had been forced to leave Burundi, fleeing from escalating violence in his home province of Bubanza, which was hard hit by the country’s 15-year civil war.
Burundi carries our round two of polio immunization campaign
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 11 December 2009 – Vaccination teams were in high gear as Burundi carried out the second round of an ongoing polio immunization campaign last month.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg visits Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 16 June 2009 – UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg has pledged to defend the interests of children of Burundi and all children in the international community.
Burundi’s last child soldiers homeward bound toward a new life
GITEGA, Burundi, 15 May 2009 – This week, 136 former child soldiers separated from Burundi’s last rebel group, the Forces Nationales de la Libération (FNL), left the Gitega Transit Centre to rejoin their respective families in Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Gitega.
Sporting chance at a new life for former child soldiers in Burundi
GITEGA, Burundi, 14 April 2009 – At an impromptu sports clinic, UNICEF Representative in Burundi Gloria Kodzwa gave a strong pep talk to 112 children separated last week from Burundi’s last rebel group, the Palipehutu-FNL.
Language a challenge for children returning to Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 18 September 2008 – Burundi is small nation wedged between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. For years, ethnic clashes have riven the country. Today, families who fled the violence are coming back, only to face new challenges.
Women parliamentarians lead major changes in African politics
NEW YORK, USA, 22 July 2008 – Several African countries are at the forefront of a growing trend to substantially increase female representation in parliaments around the world.
Over 200 child soldiers demobilized in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 06 May 2008 – Over 200 demobilized child soldiers were recently released to officials from UNICEF, The United Nations, the African Union and the government of Burundi. The children were being held by dissidents from the rebel group the Palipehutu-FNL and negotiations for the children’s release became urgent after fighting intensified.
Challenges await Burundian refugees expelled from Tanzania
MUYINGA, Burundi, 5 December 2007 – Chantal Nizigiyimana has been back in her home country of Burundi for only a few months, having lived in Tanzania since she was a young child. In 1993, her family was among hundreds of thousands of Burundians who fled across the border in order to avoid conflict.
Youth journalists in Burundi interview their president on child trafficking
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 27 June 2007 – After a recent public outcry, the goal of ending child trafficking has been strongly backed by Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza.
Drumming up pride among post-war Burundi’s street children
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 9 April 2007 – Thierry is known at the Stamm Foundation as the boy who shook hands with Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General. That was last year at the Fifth African Development Forum in Addis Ababa, when the young drummers of ‘Les Tambourinaires’ performed at a farewell reception for Mr. Annan.
UN Special Representative commends demobilization of child soldiers in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 27 March, 2007 – The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, has commended Burundi for its demobilization of child soldiers, and UNICEF is part of the success story.
Death toll rises and children abandon school as Burundi food crisis deepens
NEW YORK, USA, 14 February 2007 – Hunger and flooding in Burundi have killed some children, have made more homeless and are keeping others out of school. Reports from a recent tour around six provinces show a mounting death toll from the crisis.
Thousands homeless and without food after floods in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 26 January 2007 – Massive flooding hit 13 of Burundi’s 17 provinces last week, leaving thousands of families homeless and without food and drinking water.
Youth journalists interview Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza on key issues
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 17 October 2006 – Despite his government’s cautious relations with private radio stations and journalists, President Pierre Nkurunziza last week granted a one-hour candid interview to 14 child journalists and warmly praised UNICEF for training the youths.
Free birth services in Burundi to help cut maternal and child deaths
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 11 May 2006 – In a recovery room at Burundi’s biggest hospital, the Prince Regent Charles, 18-year-old Jocelyne Ndayizeye’s face is a study in pain and triumph. Her son has been delivered by caesarian section and she has survived one of the country’s deadliest obstacle courses – giving birth to a child. In Burundi, mothers are congratulated for ‘crossing the abyss’.
UNICEF Executive Director underlines needs of orphans, nutritional issues
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 7 March 2006 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman has praised the Government of Burundi for its work on child education, but has also drawn attention to the challenges relating to orphans and children living with HIV/AIDS.
UN agency heads call for new commitment to help Africa's Great Lakes region
NAIROBI, Kenya, 3 March 2006 – The heads of three of the largest United Nations humanitarian agencies today urged the international community to match political progress in the Great Lakes region with a new commitment to end the suffering of the millions of people forgotten by the rest of the world.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director sees Burundi's progress in education and demobilization of child soldiers
BUJUMBURA, Burundi, 7 February 2006 – During her visit to Burundi, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah praised the country’s effort in providing free primary education for all children, and the success in demobilizing more than 3,000 child soldiers.
In Burundi, the promise of universal primary education struggles with limited resources
GATUMBA, Burundi, 6 February 2006 – Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital, is a hopeful place these days. As a new government struggles to normalize the country after 13 years of bloody civil war, the city’s quiet bustle and subtle energy signal some wonderful changes taking place just below the surface.
Burundi: Free primary education for all children
NEW YORK, 7 September 2005 – After 12 years of civil war, Burundi now has a new democratic government, and the reconstruction process is gathering momentum. As part of his programme, President Pierre Nkurunziza has reaffirmed his pledge to provide free primary education for all the country’s children.
Burundi: New ECHO and UNICEF supported drug policy prevents child deaths
MUYINGA, Burundi, 27 June 2005 – When 8-month-old Sibonna first arrived at Burundi’s Muyinga Provincial Hospital, he was dying of malaria, a disease which kills more people in this African country than HIV/AIDS, war or any other cause. His mother had already succumbed to the disease.
ECHO and UNICEF: Tackling sexual violence in Burundi
MUYINGA, Burundi, 6 June 2005 – Head bowed, a 13-year-old girl tearfully recounts one of the most horrifying moments of her short life. Her mother listens in shock.
Woman’s mission for Burundi children was sparked by genocide
Marguerite Barankitse remembers the day her mission in Burundi began: It was the day a Tutsi mob tied her up and made her watch the slaughter of 72 Hutus, many of them children. The carnage lasted for ten hours, but her dream of peace and a united country never faltered.