Burundi


Our Success in

Burundi


2002

Started Working in Tanzania

2005

Started Working in Burundi

47

Projects

348

Learning Facilities

500K

Direct Beneficiaries & Program Participants
44% Female
(Women & Girls)

5
Million

Indirect Beneficiaries

Since 2002, RET has directly supported more than 500,000 direct participants, working with Burundian & Congolese refugee youth in Tanzania (2002 – 2005) and vulnerable youth in Burundi (2005- to date), 44% of them are women and facilitated the construction and/or renovation of more than 438 learning facilities in Burundi.

RET indirectly benefited more than 5 million beneficiaries throughout 47 projects (5 projects in Tanzania) and (42 Projects in Burundi) focused on: Protection, Education, Peace Stability and Transition, Democracy & Governance (Youth Civic Engagement, Peace Building), Economic Growth & Development (Livelihoods and Vocational Training), Basic Infrastructure and Equipment (around the school).

The Situation in Burundi

Burundi remains a fragile country following a succession of conflicts, which resulted in large-scale interethnic massacres and mass displacement both inside and outside the country. Since the 2000 peace agreements and especially since 2008, over 500’000 Burundian refugees have returned to their country. Almost a third of these have moved into the southern provinces where they represent 15% of the total population. This situation created tensions between returnees and the population that had stayed in the country after the conflict.

The 2015 political crisis has created a climate of  uncertainty  leading to  socio-economic  decline,   In  addition,  the  country  is  facing  multiple  challenges in  providing basic  services, including high unemployment rate amongst young people,  lack of health services and disease crises, quality education coupled with a declining agricultural sector declining economic situation. Over 300,000 Burundian refugees are displaced in neighbouring countries, while around 136,000 are internally displaced people. All of them requires assistance.

Burundi, a landlocked country (27’830 km²), is one of the five poorest countries in the world.  According to World Bank (2018), close to 72.9% of local population live below poverty line, where more than six out of ten Burundians (6.1 million people) are poor and nearly four out of ten (3.6 million) live in extreme poverty. In 2020, COVID-19 affected Burundi’s already fragile economy leading to a slow recovery. The GDP growth has  been  revised  to  0.3 percent  in  2020,  which  is  1.7 percentage  points  lower  than  the  pre-COVID  projection and a sharp decline from growth of 1.8 percent in 2019.


RET’s mission is to protect and empower people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to gain control of their future and reach their full potential.

RET’s Interventions
RET’s mission is to protect and empower people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to gain control of their future and reach their full potential.

RET has conducted operations in refugee camps in Tanzania, namely in Kigoma and rural and urban areas in Burundi. RET has been active throughout most of the 18 provinces of Burundi, including Bujumbura, Muyinga, Kirundo, Kanyosha,  and Mutimbuzi.

RET originally worked with Burundian youth in Tanzania from 2002 to 2005, following the Burundian internal conflict of the 1990s and early 2000s, where many communities had to seek refuge in neighboring countries. 
As camps started to close and populations began returning home, the needs shifted back to Burundi. RET started operations in 2005, by providing access to post-primary education to youth returning to Burundi in order to facilitate their reintegration. Over time, RET supported over 348 secondary schools, benefiting more than 60.000 students through renovation work and the construction of more classrooms, dormitories, sanitary facilities, staff rooms, and water tanks in Burundi. RET also provided teacher training, language and educational catch-up courses. 

In order to allow young people to play a positive role in these transitional times, RET has also put in place responsible citizenship programs covering themes such as conflict resolution and mitigation in order to promote durable peace in the country, allowing youth to be autonomous and become positive actors, leading their communities through this fragile situation and towards development. RET’s projects adopt a participative and inclusive approach. Young people are themselves actors in the projects and partnerships with youth associations allow for durable results. RET conducted operations in Muyinga and Kirundo to reduce the potential for conflict by harnessing the energies of youth to act for peace and social cohesion using a multi-faceted approach which includes vocational education, theatre, sports, forum discussions.

Since 2019, RET has been implementing programs to improve youth’s income generation and self-reliance prospects through capacity-building and vocational training. Youth unemployment in Burundi affects both the country’s local and national development. The limited economic and livelihood opportunities prompt the youth to resort to harmful coping mechanisms as a survival strategy, including joining armed or rebel groups. The projects were of fundamental importance for the stability of Burundi, offering tailor-made interventions and relevant programs to counter the marginalization of vulnerable adolescents by endorsing a : 1. Gender-balanced Approach, 2. Cultivating youth leadership, 3.Designing and administering technical and vocational capacity building modules conducive to economic integration, and 4.Supporting youth resilience as a medium for conflict transformation and sustainable peace-building.

The project developed the entrepreneurial and self-reliance skills of young people aged between 15-30 years by administering the “Open Mind Global program” in 18 centers spread in four communes in Bujumbura. It also provided 240 youth with professional skills training (sewing, catering hand-craft and information Technology (IT)) in Kanyosha and accredited certification recognized by Burundi’s government.



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