Burundi

Rebuilding social structures to help protect children from violence - and improve their future prospects.

What is happening?

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in Africa, where some 80 per cent of the population lives in poverty. This enduring hardship is the legacy of the twelve-year civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups. The conflict lasted until 2006 and claimed more than 300,000 lives.

The humanitarian situation inside Burundi is still tense. Highly contested presidential elections in 2015 triggered outbreaks of violence that continue today. The continuing political instability has seen some 345,000 Burundi citizens leave to find safety in neighbouring states - more than half of whom are children.

Many of these refugee children have been forced to travel alone in search of safety. And they are exposed to significant risks along the way - particularly the threat of sexual violence.

The children who remain inside Burundi are exposed to the risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation. The fragile economic situation has resulted in outbreaks of child malnutrition and forced some 150,000 children from their homes.

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Photo: Jeppe Schilder

“I love the games of War Child. I especially like playing with the small tennis ball, dancing and rope jumping. I feel really happy when I can play!"
Elise (13)

What we do

War Child has worked in partnership with national NGOs inside Burundi since 2008. Our programme aims to rebuild social structures inside the country together with local communities. These efforts serve to strengthen child protection structures.

All of our projects in Burundi provide children with vital protection, education and psychosocial support. We also work to meet the urgent needs of child refugees from neighbouring states.