RAJEDES seeks to impact youth through their holistic development programmes. It aims to promote democracy, solidarity, and conflict resolution, all of which profoundly affect and are affected by young people.
A core conviction is that the government can only succeed when youth concerns are addressed because the demography of the country is so young. That is why youth advocacy is at the fore, and training in micro-finance and entrepreneurship have yielded significant fruit and empowerment. Many young people otherwise facing unemployment have benefitted from their work.
As well as general business skills they also teach soap production, hairdressing, sewing. Participants often go on to build flourishing businesses which end up employing more people, multiplying the positive impact of their work.
They also use sports as a means of outreach to local young people through their team RAJEDES FC.
RAJEDES stands for ‘Rassemblement des Jeunes pour le Développement et la Lutte contre le SIDA’ which translates as ‘Youth Rally for Development and the Fight against AIDS’. They primarily work in more deprived areas of Bujumbura, Burundi’s largest city.