Nov 18, 2020

A life beyond the streets

 

‘’My name is Emmanuel* and I’m 17 years old.

I spent 3 years on the streets.

An incident that shook me up few years back was when my house caught fire. My friends in the neighbourhood advised me to accompany them on the streets. I did so and I considered that to be a solution to the ongoing food shortage at home. I therefore decided to go on the streets without telling my mother and my 2 younger brothers. While being on the streets, I realized that it’s not a nice feeling to be a street child.

The Outreach team from New Generation Burundi (NGB) found me on the street, and they took me to the centre. The team asked us about the challenges street-connected children face on the streets. And I was asked if I would want go back home, I said yes. Since that day, I never looked back’’. NGB took the initiative to support Emmanuel, and reintegrate him into his family in Ruziba in the month of August 2020. A kit of basic necessities (mattress, bed sheets, clothes, etc) was given to him.

In October 2020, some staff members from NGB visited Emmanuel’s Mum in Ruziba. She was blessed with a baby girl and she was happy with her son not going back on the streets and being able to contribute towards house expenses.

The team then visited Emmanuel at his new workplace.

‘’I am currently working as a waiter at a small barbecue joint’’, he said.

‘’ I have my breakfast and lunch at my workplace. After work, I buy food for my Mum and brothers and we all have dinner together. I would want to work for myself, start my own business .

I would want NGB to help me in building my own house so that I can start living an independent life’’

 

We wish every success to Emmanuel in his endeavours and wish to continue helping street-connected children with the support of current and potential future partners.

 

  • The child’s name has been changed and his face has been blurred in order to protect his identity

 

We thank each one of you who have regularly supported us, through Street Action, for many years; and those who are new supporters and have provided substantial sums to make this possible.

We are truly grateful.

Jul 22, 2020

In the middle of uncertainty

Humanity is facing one of the worst crisis since the global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization:Coronavirus disease. The Government of Burundi has requested the population to prioritize good hygiene which is a prerequisite in fighting the virus.

As an organization that works with street-connected children, we acknowledge the crisis that is going on. We are therefore reaching out individually to these children and raising better awareness about the virus, its effects, and preventive measures.The observations from our visits so far point towards the difficulties these children face and the lack of basic necessities such as food, clothes, soap, a safe place to sleep…They are most vulnerable during this challenging time.

 Below is the story of Paul:

 

Paul*, 16 years old, is a native of Gitega who has spent nearly 6 years of his life on the streets of Bujumbura. Like most of the street-connected children, due to challenging financial conditions, he came to Bujumbura hoping to earn money and return back home. According to him, COVID- 19 kills a lot of people and in order to prevent the virus, one has to wash hands with soap. This is the only information he seemed to have.Finding soap is a real challenge in his scenario and he is very scared about his health.

He mentioned about the behaviour of local Police. “The police treat me as a rebel” he said, “an enemy of the state”. He has to hide whenever he spots one. He does not have an identity card. It is difficult to access health care when he gets sick, he spends the night in a bush. He has no clothes, no shoes to wear. The Outreach team visited him on the 11th of June 2020.He seemed unwell and after a while he was brought to the hospital by the team where he was diagnosed with malaria. New Generation Burundi ( NGB) has since taken care of Paul’s medical expenses until the time he recovered and was out of hospital.

 As part of his future plans, he would like to get into welding, be able to buy the equipment and start working at a welding factory.

 *The child’s name has been changed and his face has been blurred in order to protect his identity

 

We thank each one of you who have regularly supported us, through Street Action, for many years; and those who are new supporters and have provided substantial sums to make this possible.

We are truly grateful.

Mar 26, 2020

Street and Hope

New Generation Burundi’s (NGB) team from the Outreach Program visited street-connected children on the 24th of March 2020. The team went to visit them in several locations of Bujumbura and was able to speak to 18 children (14 boys and 4 girls).The goal was to reach out to them, listen to their problems, take notes and ask questions in order to understand the root cause behind the decision of living on the streets. The team also gave them a word of hope and encouragement.

Some of the problems these children face on a day to day basis are: finding something to eat, not knowing where they will spend the night, the fear of getting chased by the Police and being locked up in prisons.

NGB welcomes these children at the centre every Wednesday and Friday where we run a program that focuses on conducting moral sessions and counselling as well as family reintegration. The children also play football, have their lunch, clean themselves, do some drawings and watch television. We hope to have an accommodation for them and send them to schools so they can live a better life.

 

We thank each one of you who have regularly supported us, through Street Action, for many years; and those who are new supporters and have provided substantial sums to make this possible.

We are truly grateful.

 
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