Appeals & Response Plans
- East Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Mar 2017
- Burundi: Malaria Outbreak - Mar 2017
- Burundi: Cholera Outbreak - Jul 2016
- Burundi: Floods - Nov 2015
- Burundi/Tanzania: Cholera Outbreak - May 2015
- Burundi: Landslides and Floods - Mar 2015
- Burundi: Floods and Landslides - Feb 2014
- Burundi: Cholera Outbreak - Oct 2012
- Burundi: Cholera Outbreak - Aug 2011
- Burundi: Floods - Mar 2011
Maps & Infographics
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- Burundi Remote Monitoring Update, December 2017
- Burundi: Acute Food Insecurity Situation October - December 2017 and January - May 2018
AFSC strategic priorities in Burundi
Through 2018, AFSC is focusing its work in Burundi in three key areas. Working with people affected by war and violence—particularly women, youth, ex-combatants, returnees, and internally displaced people—AFSC is building the conditions for lasting peace and economic development.
Promoting community livelihood recovery, social cohesion, and trauma healing
AFSC and Quaker Peace Network stand in solidarity with the Burundian people to promote nonviolence in upcoming 2015 elections
American Friends Service Committee: The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Our work is based on the principles of the Religious Society of Friends, the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
“Burundi has gone through war. Burundians fled, left everything behind, many lost their lives, anarchy reigned. … In the hearts of those who stayed back and those in the bush were severe pains. Blood had been shed and could be felt everywhere. This made everyone wounded.” —opening to “Life after conflict in Burundi: Socio-economics and trauma healing”
A new documentary film featuring five Burundians shows how healing from trauma helps make way for rebuilding community in the wake of protracted violent conflict.
Henriette Uwimana, 30 years old, spent eight years in the bush with a Burundian rebel group after being kidnapped from her school.
She was forced by the rebels to stay with them under the threat that they would otherwise kill her parents. She was trained in many ways of torturing and killing people, both with guns and with her bare hands. During a recent trauma healing session, she recounted, “After some time, I was not afraid of killing people or making them suffer. I even killed my own uncle with a hoe.”
Working with others to make a difference
After many years of violent conflict, the men and women in Burundi are moving forward with their lives.
Still, the country’s social fabric was torn apart, livelihoods have been reduced to survival, and mistrust that cropped up among citizens and lead to widespread fear are barriers to peace and prosperity.
Many members of Burundi’s communities cannot afford their basic needs.
They witnessed killings of their family members, which are still lingering in their minds.
Recovering from years of ethnic and violent conflict is a long and complicated process that requires healing from the trauma of war, rebuilding a cohesive community life, and stimulating an economy so that people can make a living and get what they need to build resilience.
With half a million refugees affected by war returning to Burundi in the course of a decade, the government and United Nations have prioritized the need to reintegrate people, both socially and economically.
David Niyonzima on the traditional role of elders as peacemakers
Listen to David Niyonzima, founder and director of the Trauma Healing and Reconconiliation Services (THARS) in Burundi, on the traditional role of elders as community peacemakers. David's work involves leading workshops on trauma healing and providing community spaces for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation.
This June, QUNO was pleased to host a visit from Adrien Niyongabo, Coordinator of Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC) in Burundi. HROC emerged from Alternatives to Violence, a conflict resolution program developed by Quakers and prisoners in the United States and Canada. Quakers in Burundi, recognizing the need for reconciliation and healing between Hutu and Tutsi communities, have been conducting three-day HROC workshops to help participants cope with trauma and restore relationships.
Dependence on the land has long been a source of conflict in Burundi. Its soil can’t keep up with the rate of population growth—among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa—and the courts are crowded with cases of conflicting claims to property.
At the root of the problem is the fact that many Burundians’ livelihoods are tied to agriculture while the land is increasingly infertile, says Triphonie Habonimana, AFSC program officer. Food shortages, combined with high unemployment rates, spur conflict.
The final stop on Arlene Kelly's trip to Africa was a day and a half with the Burundi team of the AFSC. In a few short hours a whirlwind of meetings took place with Burundian civil society partners of AFSC-Burundi, with a couple UN offices, government ministries, international partners and Friends (Quaker) partner organizations in Burundi.
Burundi has a large number of Friends (Quakers), with the Friends Church of Burundi (église des Amis Evangeliqué du Burundi) having celebrated its 75 anniversary in July of 2009.
SOUTHERN AFRICA PROGRAM PEACE EDUCATION
Where is Burundi?
Burundi is in central Africa between Zaire and Tanzania, and south of Rwanda. It covers about 10,759 square miles and is home to 6 million people. A chain of mountains runs north and south, dividing the area's waters into two basins, the Zaire basin and the Nile basin. The southernmost source of the Nile is located in Burundi, and all Burundian waters flow either into the Mediterranean Sea through the Nile or into the Atlantic Ocean through the Zaire River.
Describe the Burundian economy.
by David Niyonzima
The world now knows about the two ethnic groups in Burundi and Rwanda who are in conflict - Hutu and Tutsi. Less well known are the nineteenth and twentieth century colonialism efforts by Germany and Belgium to use money and schools to divide and conquer Burundi's ethnic groups. Seeds of hatred were sown and nurtured and we are left to reap its bitter fruit.
Yet, the ordinary Hutu and Tutsi have never highlighted their animosities. We have freely intermarried, share the same language and cultural practices, and live in the same communities.
PHILADELPHIA -- Burundian peace activist and Quaker pastor, David Niyonzima, will visit 15 U.S. cities, September 15 - October 15, to ask for material and moral support of those in his country who are working for peace and reconciliation. "Burundians live in constant fear and feel powerless as they watch the deteriorating situation," says Niyonzima, who fled Burundi with his family in June 1996 when his name appeared on a death list.