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Target Area: Burundi 

The Republic of Burundi is located between East and Central Africa in the area of ​​the Great Lakes (Lake Tanganyika) and is with its 27,834 km2 (of which 1,867 km2 is water) one of the smallest countries in Africa. Compared to Austria, Burundi is smaller than Lower and Upper Austria together. Burundi is bordered to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the north by Rwanda and to the south-east byTanzania. The official languages ​​are Kirundi and French. The population is ethnically divided into Hutu (about 85%), Tutsi (about 15%) and Twa (2%). Bujumbura is the capital and has a population of around one million. Burundi has over 11 million inhabitants nationwide.

Statistic figures: 

 

  • According to the World Bank, Burundi was one of the poorest countries in the world in 2017, with a capita GDP of $ 280.

  • The UN Human Development Report 2018 lists Burundi in the category of "Low Human Development" countries in 185th place out of 189 countries.

  • The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) counts Burundi among the "Least Developed Countries".

  • 81 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

  • Population growth of over 3% exceeds economic growth significantly.

Historical Background 

Burundi is marked by a decades-long ethnopolitical conflict between Hutu and Tutsi, which culminated in a cruel civil war in the 1990s. Historically, it can not be determined with certainty whether the separation within the population arose on a functional basis (upper class and working class) or ethnic basis (ethnic groups) and how far it actually goes back in time. The fact is that the complex colonial past has produced enormous inequalities in the society. The constitution agreed on power sharing in government, parliament, administration, police and army, greatly weakening the polarization of Hutu and Tutsi at the political level. The major failure was that, after the end of the civil war, no independent reconciliation took place. Ethnic self-identification continues to be widespread. People do not identify themselves as Burundians, but still as Hutu and Tutsi or Twa. Likewise, political positioning and historical events are evaluated against the background of ethnic affiliation. For this reason, the population is very vulnerable to instrumentalization by individual political actors over ethnic identification patterns in order to capitalize on it and incite resentment towards the other ethnic group. And this in spite of the fact that at a political level, it is no longer primarily about the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi, but primarily between the prevailing regime and its political and social opponents.

Environment for Kids and Youth

Children and adolescents in Burundi are a particularly vulnerable target group. Children need a safe environment for healthy development that meets their childhood needs - regular sleep-wake cycle, food and drink, personal care, health care, safety, social community, appreciation, exercise, learning impulses, education. Here, the active game as an essential learning method and main activity of the child in the foreground. Through body experiences children strengthen their self-esteem and get to know their limits, express their feelings, but also the social interaction with other people.


Statistic figures: 

 

  • The average age of the population is 17,6 years.

  • 46% of the population are under 14 years old.

  • Compliance with international children's rights is not guaranteed as there is still insufficient awareness of this in society. Although public corporal punishment has been banned by the government, corporal punishment is still widespread in the family.

  • Due to the high birth rate, many children have no access to education and must already contribute to the family income at a young age. Based on the total population, 31.6% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 work. The classic role allocation that the boys look for work while the girls support the household and the parenting is Burundian reality.

  • The public space is not child friendly either. Freely accessible play areas as well as sports fields are looked for in vain in the densely populated capital Bujumbura. As a result, only the dangerous roads to (football) games remain for the majority of children.