Burundian youth enjoy a music for peace festival and competition in Bujumbura
Conflict management and violence reduction in Burundi cannot be realised without directly engaging Burundian youth. In the past, young people have fallen victim to the manipulation of political actors abusing the political process for their own interests or the interests of a small few. As a result, some youth have played an unknowing role in undermining Burundian government and civil society. Youth now need to collaborate with other citizens in dedicating their energy, talent, and unique perspective and experience to the important processes of reconciliation, reconstruction and development.
As a response to the tense political environment and growing insecurity in Burundi, SFCG has recently implemented a project aiming to encourage all Burundians, and particularly youth, to engage in peaceful cohabitation amongst their diversity and to fight all forms of manipulation, with support from UKAID. This project also aims to contribute to the depolitization of the democratic dialogue. The campaign was implemented through various tools, including media programming (radio soap opera, and spots messages) and cultural events (music contest and music festival). SFCG is actively seeking funding to continue this campaign.
The inclusion of women and the female perspective is essential for the success of SFCG Burundi programming. Women comprise 52% of the country’s total population, and, as such, any efforts at transforming the way in which conflict is handled in Burundi must incorporate the active participation of women.
SFCG Burundi is currently implementing, with support from UNDEF/UNIFEM a project that aims to empower women leaders and female politicians in Burundi as agents of social change through strengthened leadership capabilities and increased knowledge and awareness of the rights of women in Burundi by the population as a whole. The project seeks to increase the political participation and leadership of women in Burundi through a number of activities including training of women leaders, the organization of town-hall meetings to disseminate information and generate debate, and raising over-all awareness through radio programs.
Support to Transitional Justice Process
Participatory theater around Burundi's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Transitional justice is a particularly sensitive topic in Burundi and the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission has been delayed several times. While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be finally set up in January 2012, SFCG aims to support the process and particularly to contribute to prevent conflicts that could arise from the process.
SFCG Burundi is currently organizing a series of participatory theatre performances throughout the country, with support from BNUB, and is seeking funding to continue to support the transitional justice process through conflict management trainings of local authorities and media programming.
The SFCG Burundi program is an integral part of the organization’s larger regional focus. SFCG has developed a regional strategy in the Great Lakes, taking into account the dual character of the conflicts in the region: both local/national and with regional dimension. SFCG in the region seeks to inspire key people from diverse groups to become actors for social change and actively contribute to both peace and reconciliation in their communities.
SFCG is currently participating in several projects with a regional dimension, including:
a project funded by USAID that aims to strengthening repatriation and reintegration, as well as to prevent land conflicts, through information and conflict transformation in Burundi, and Eastern DRC; and
a project funded by USAID entitled Supporting Trading For Peace in the Great Lakes, which overall goal is for trade routes between Burundi, the DRC and Rwanda to be more secure for regional economic activities;
a project funded by TradeMark East Africa, which is an extension of the work that has been done on the Supporting Trading for Peace Project on the Burundi/Rwanda border;
a media and outreach initiative funded by the Swedish government that aims to support civil society engagement in peace and security issues in the Great Lakes.
Read more about SFCG's projects in the Great Lakes Region...