Nov 16, 2017

A Chance for Children - able or otherwise...

The joy of a schoolbook!
The joy of a schoolbook!

The staff and children at New Generation send their greetings to their wonderful supporters round the world! Thanks to improved funding from people like you, the staff have been able to expand their outreach program in the last few months, helping more children who live on the streets. The staff have also started visiting prisons. They found over a hundred children locked up in the main adult prison in Bujumbura. New Generation knows many of these children and it appears the only “crime” they have committed is sleeping on the street. So New Generation has started working with the authorities to provide a better solution.

 When my wife and I visited New Generation 18 months ago, we met a 10-year-old girl, Belinda (name changed). Her mother is a sex worker who had started offering her child to her clients. She was found with her hands tied and so had been brought to New Generation. Belinda was very disturbed – she had never been to school and she did not know how to relate to the other children. The staff were not sure whether to keep her at the center. But she loved being cuddled, and was keen to please.

 Gradually Belinda responded to the care and attention, and was able to go to school. But she struggled and it quickly became clear that she had learning difficulties. In a country where there are so many thousands of children in urgent need of help, the staff could have been forgiven for concluding that Belinda’s case was just too difficult…but they didn’t. There aren’t many special schools in Burundi, but they managed to secure a place at a boarding school in Gitega, two hours away. They took her to her new school in September, and she is settling in well. Belinda’s school fees are just £40 a month ($50) – but that is a major unbudgeted expense for a charity that has to watch every penny.

 If you would like to help with Belinda’s school fees please do get in touch. Your continued support is saving children’s lives every day.

Off to school for the first time
Off to school for the first time
Even homework can be fun
Even homework can be fun
Aug 18, 2017

Planning for a New Home

Exciting news from New Generation - they now own their own piece of land, in Bujumbura, on which they will soon start building a new, permanent home. Building will take place in phases over the next few years, with the first phase seeing New Generation's daily activities moving to the site. This will hopefull be completed by the end of the year.

Since Dieudonne Nahimana began providing support to a few children living on the streets of Bujumbura over 20 years ago, New Generation has always had a nomadic existence. Recent years have seen the project find a home in Bujumbura, but the site they rented was always that - a temporary home.

So this news, thanks to the hugely generous support of many Street Action supporters, is so exciting for the long term security and stability of New Generation. And it will mean that a third of their budget, currently being spent on renting a site, can be used to help the children within the project, and reach out to more children on the streets of Bujumbura.

Thanks again. To all of you who have regularly supported New Generation, through Street Action, for many years. And those who are newer supporters and have provided substantial sums to make this possible.

We are truly grateful.

Aug 2, 2017

IT Training for street children starts next month!

NGB's soccer team on the computers
NGB's soccer team on the computers

Thankyou so much for supporting this project - your donations and GlobalGiving's matched funding delivered a total of £9,000, enough to pay for an IT trainer for 3 years! 

Life is not easy in Burundi. Soon after receiving this wonderful news, New Generation (NGB) hit a problem. In May there was no electricity for days at a time. The electricity often goes off, and then the project runs its generator. But the power shortage was due to the authorities running out of hard currency, and this also caused a severe petrol shortage. With no petrol to run generators, everything ground to a halt. There was no point employing an IT trainer with no power...

Thankfully the situation has now improved – power is still intermittent, but petrol is available. NGB had 17 applicants for the role, and the short list of 5 will be interviewed next week. All have experience of IT training, some at local universities, and two have had experience abroad. The appointee will earn about £250 a month, a good salary in Burundi. 

The street children who NGB helps get to school only receive half a day's schooling up to the age of 13 in the state primary school. Some go in the morning, and some the afternoon, so the IT teacher will be able to teach them in different groups. Training will also be given to the older former streetchildren who NGB cares for - some are at secondary school, and some work locally or for the project.

NGB's mision is to "train and equip a new generation of leaders for Burundi". It aims to develop a group of young people who have the skills to be leaders in the community, in business and in politics. But who also have a strong moral compass and a desire to help others, not just themselves. 

Thankyou so much for playing your part! We will let you know how the training is going in a few months time.....

P.S. If you are interested in visiting the project, and perhaps helping with the summer holiday club or with IT Training, then get in touch with me at rod@streetaction.org.

Older Girls IT training
Older Girls IT training

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