The 3rd Friendship Games: another step forward on the road to peace and stability
More than 250 young people and many political and sports authorities demonstrated the unifying role played by sport in the sensitive Great Lakes region in Africa
Netball for Peace in Burundi awarded
The International Federation of Netball Associations received an award for the Netball for Peace project in the "Sport Humanitarian Actions" category at the annual Africa International Sports Convention (CISA) held in Bamako, Mali on the 1-3 March.
Ping Pong Paix
Champion for Peace Peter Karlsson visited Burundi from 18-21 December to officially launch “Ping Pong Paix” and give exciting coaching sessions to the children.
Volleyball pour la Paix
Since December 2011 Volleyball activities are now available for kids from both Gihanga and Gitega youth centers!
International Day of Peace
September 21, 2011, the Gihanga centre organized an Open Day to introduce local communities to supervised sports activities.
Opening of the new youth centre in Gitega
The new centre, the fruit of the partnership between Gitega Municipality, the Government of Burundi, the European Union and Peace and Sport, was officially opened on 26 September 2011.
Photos and project underway
In Burundi, as part of the national reconciliation process, we intervene in youth centres alongside the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, to develop peace-building actions. We also help to organise the Friendship Games for peace-promotion.
Friendship Games in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
Since 2010, youth centres in Burundi, DRC, and Rwanda (since 2012) have met for one day each year to compete in sports and official events that symbolize friendship between these two countries.
The Friendship Games bring children together through sport and convey messages of peace as well as raising awareness about topical issues (HIV/AIDS, environmental protection, etc)
- The 1st Burundi-Congolese Friendship Games took place in Rugombo in Cibitoke province (Burundi) in October 2010 - The 2nd Burundi-Congolese Friendship Games were held in Luvungi in the province of South-Kivu (DRC) in August 2011 - The 3rd edition of Great Lakes Friendship Games took place in Gihanga in the Bubanza province of Burundi in July 2012
Opened in 2008 the Gihanga Youth Centre has already organized many events (open days, International Peace Day, etc...) and it has become important in local community life.
- Supervision of on average 300 young people each year, of whom 40% are girls - 5 sports are offered: football, athletics, volleyball, karate and judo - 1 manager and 6 full time instructors run the centre - 5 training courses took place in 2011 (socio-cultural coaching, socio-sports coaching, netball training, volleyball training and table tennis training)
This project was jointly launched in 2010 by the Municipality of Gitega, the European Union and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture. The first phase was completed on 27 September 2011 with the opening of a new centre.
- renovating a historic building that houses the youth centre - equipping the land around the centre with a multi-purpose room, a store room for equipment and toilets - building sports facilities - provision of sports, administrative and educational facilities (a library) - training management and coaching personnel
Beneficiaries of the program supported by Peace and Sport are:
Street kids, orphans and vulnerable youngsters living in very difficult conditions with uncertain futures.
Demobilized child soldiers and displaced youth, whose number is growing.
Burundi young people in general, who will benefit from the direct and indirect impact of programs for peace-promotion and peace-building.
After gaining independence in 1962, Burundi experienced a long period of political instability. In 2008 hope began to emerge that the country would definitively turn the page on civil war with the signature of a declaration of an immediate end to hostilities.
The fourth-poorest country in the world, Burundi is now faced with an extremely difficult economic and social climate. Young Burundians, who represent 50% of the population, are still traumatized by the war: orphans and displaced persons, victims of physical or sexual and abuse, some were child soldiers, and many now live in the street. Faced with a lack of job opportunities and education, they need support, education, and a structured framework for assistance.
The Burundi government is trying to instil a culture of peace, strengthen the State’s laws, rebuild the country and promote economic and social development. To achieve this, it must bring communities together, encourage dialogue and raise awareness about the major issues facing the country.
For this reason, it has introduced a National Program for the Development and Promotion of Sport for Peace Education. This program aims to use sport as a means of disseminating a culture of democracy, peace-promotion and developing a sector for job creation and social inclusion for young people.
The government of Burundi has asked Peace and Sport to help implement its National Programme for the Development and Promotion of Sport for Peace Education in youth centres.