The International Day of the African Child, June 16th, is joyfully celebrated by our partners New Generation Burundi (NGB). This year’s celebrations took place for the fifty-one children with a delicious meal, talking and playing games and sports. They also had the opportunity to showcase the French and English they have been learning together.
International Day of the African Child has been running since 1991, founded by the Organisation of African Unity, and has a particular focus on seeking better education for children across the continent, although it also highlights a variety of other issues and needs. Approximately half of the people in Africa are under 18 years old, and their needs are as varied as the nations they represent.
On the streets of Bujumbura, Burundi, many children live on the streets, often orphaned or from troubled backgrounds. GLO Partner New Generation Burundi, founded by Dieudonné Nahimana, runs an outreach programme for street-connected children. They stay in homes with a live-in house parent with a group of other children who often form close bonds as they regularly share meals and receive teaching together. They are given soap to wash with and soap powder to clean their clothes. Perhaps most importantly, they are helped to heal their inner wounds. Through psycho-social support, they are encouraged to discover who they are in God’s eyes and develop their potential.
Wherever possible, NGB seeks to reintegrate children into their own families. Many young people leave their homes for the streets, feeling themselves to be a burden to their mothers and younger siblings. NGB will provide necessities for the family home, such as mattresses and bedding, meaning that the family can reunite. Our partners tell us of “a moment of pure joy” when this year two children celebrated the special day by returning to their families.
New Generation is currently seeking funding for a new Street Children Centre. Plans have been drawn up for an inspirational place of opportunity and support. The new centre will equip NGB to support their existing beneficiaries better, as well as equipping them to reach out to more children living on the streets in Burundi, giving them a hope and a future. You can support this project using our partner donation form.