Constant traum, uncertainty and a hostile atmosphere

The future of the youth of Burundi is riddled with uncertainty. Trauma is a constant companion of people enduring the effects of corruption, polarisation and an absence of economic opportunities. The lack of a functional justice system also adds to the pain of people unable to see injustices resolved, leading to individuals taking justice into their own hands, resulting in a cycle of violence and retribution. Prejudice and harmful narratives divide communities, creating an even more hostile atmosphere.

Our strategy

  • Establishing self-help groups
  • Facilitating financial coaching to increase economic stability of the youth
  • Training local governance to meet needs unable to be met by the government
  • Encourage the use of paralegals to resolve conflicts peacefully

Our answer

The five years of the Building Bridges in Burundi (BBB) programme have been a success story. During the programme, the occurrence of conflicts has been reduced significantly. The youth bridge-builder groups in particular have a strong impact. The programme reached 18,426 adults who are now individual champions of peace. These champions are at the heart of the programme’s success, and their future activities ensure the sustainability of their impact.

The BBB programme led to the creation of 996 self-help groups, where 154 psychological analysts were trained. These groups made trauma healing accessible to people. Many cycles of hurt were broken by resolving past instances of pain, paving a way to a peaceful future, which can only be built on a healed past.

The absence of a functioning, fair judicial system was a significant part of the grievances of the people. Where retribution and violence were often the resort for conflict resolution, the demand for justice made itself present. In the span of the programme, over 10,000 applications for legal support reached our trained mediators- more than half of which were resolved.