Dec 13, 2016

Extraordinary progress despite unrest in Burundi

The girls at New Generation
The girls at New Generation

Thankyou so much for your support!

The project has made extraordinary progress in the last 3 years, despite Burundi suffering from severe political unrest and a rapidly declining economy, partly due to the withdrawal of aid. It is now the poorest country in the world according to World Bank data, with an average income per head of only 60p a day. 

This progress could not have been made without the help of donors, and local and international volunteers. Street Action is 100% run by volunteers - if you would like to join our New Generation supporter group, please contact rod@streetaction.org. If we know your skills and interests, then we can get in touch when there is a task that might suit you.

Main Achievements 2014-16

  • Number of children in the main program, Road to School, doubled from 37 to 74 street kids.
  • Children now receive 3 meals a day, rather than one.
  • Wooden accommodation block, showers and toilets built for 12 girls and 12 boys on the main site.
  • A 5-bedroom house rented 20 minutes walk away which houses 12 boys and 3 leaders (Eric, Innocent and Sylvester).
  • Kids hall constructed with tables, chairs and sofas which provides a living space where the kids can eat, do their homework and relax.
  • Original hall for street kids activities & the church replaced by a hall twice the size.
  • Cafe by entrance to site renovated. Now offers lunches and one of the best cups of coffee in Bujumbura. Local office workers use it. Employs 4 ex-street children.
  • Small convenience shop opened on main road. Employs 2 ex-street children.
  • Dieudonne and his family have moved out of the bungalow on the main site into rented accommodation. This has released the space to create offices for the staff.
  • Training room in constant use for after-school tuition in computing, English and French, and for staff meetings.
  • 30 old laptops donated by a higher education college - used for computing training and a cyber cafe.
  • Entrepreneurship competition and training run in 5 provinces. 92 young people selected for full training course, 75 businesses established, 25 have proved successful.
  • 20 Peace & Reconciliation events attended by over 30,000 young people in last 2 years.
  • University Loan Fund established. First 4 New Generation ex-street children to attend university in 2017 (£1,000 p.a. for fees and living costs).
  • New Generation soccer team came 2nd in the Street Child World Cup in Rio. Innocent was top scorer. 
  • Dieudonne and 4 boys attended the Street Child Games in 2016. They won 3 gold, 2 silver and one bronze medal. They took part in an excellent Street Child Conference where they learnt how to launch an effective program to help kids living on the streets, and campaign for their rights. 
  • House built on 8 acres of land owned by New Generation in Muyinga, 4 hours north of Bujumbura. Agricultural project started with the children of genocide victims and perpetrators working together in a co-operative. 
  • Three New Generation youth clubs established. There are now 6 active youth clubs in Bujumbura and other towns. 2 more clubs are dormant but will be revived.
  • Streetwork strengthened. Previously only occasional visits to the streets. Innocent became a full-time street worker in late 2015 and maintains contact with 50 street kids. 2 more street workers have just been appointed with the aim of helping 500 street children a year.

I have visited 3 times in the last two years and have been so impressed what New Generation has managed to achieve with only a modest amount of money. Their aim is to "train and equip a new generation of leaders for Burundi" and with our support, I really believe they can do it! Thank you for journeying with us as we try to help them.

Oct 4, 2016

Hope in the midst of instability

Things politically in Burundi are still difficult (since the refusal of the president to relinquish power in April 2015 as the constitution required) with relative calm underpinned by the threat of political and social upheaval at any point. Against this backdrop, the children at New Generation continue to demonstrate the reality of trying to live peacefully as a community.

The reality of the situation in the country is that prices are rising (especially for food) and nothing can be taken for granted, including whether schools will be open one day to the next. So running the project is hard and life is unpredictable for the children and adults at New Generation. Even physically changing money from New Generation’s US$ account to local Burundian francs is getting more and more costly as the government continues to exert more control on money exchange rates.

The children cared for by New Generation continue to come to the Bujumbura centre on a daily basis to receive food, take part in activities and be supported through their schooling. New short term accommodation blocks have been built and a new house has been rented to provide longer term support for some of the girls who are now looked after by New Generation (in addition to the existing boys). As an organisation that has worked with street children for many years, they know how much this crisis is affecting children in general and street children in particular. When everybody else is running back to their homes for shelter and protection from bullets, street children have no safe place to run to. They get caught up in clashes between the police and the protesters and struggle to find something to eat as most shops are closed and people have no money to give away.

So alongside providing for the physical needs of the children, New Generation has been promoting active non-violence among the youth in Burundi. Through different meetings and activities (often involving football), they have been able to speak to young people from different provinces, ethnic groups and political movements about healing and reconciliation.

Street Action are currently working alongside other partners to try to secure the long term security of the New Generation site in Bujumbura. Against this broader aim, we are also raising money for an expanded Outreach Programme, new Boy’s Accommodation, Schooling (including uniforms, books and new shoes for the 65 New Generation children who have just enrolled in the new academic year) and ongoing funds (which underpins all the work they do, including providing food, accommodation, schooling, counselling support and leadership training to over 100 children each month).

They are so grateful to all our supporters who continue to support them, not least providing food, shelter and access to schooling for these children through these politically and socially tough times.

Jun 15, 2016

A sense of stability in an unstable country

Things politically in Burundi are unchanged with relative calm underpined by the threat of political and social upheaval at any point. Against this backdrop, the children at New Generation continue to demonstrate the reality of living peacefully as a community.

The reality of the situation in the country is that prices are rising (especially for food) and nothing can be taken for granted, including whether schools will be open one day to the next. So running the project is hard and life is unpredictable for the children and adults at New Generation.

The children cared for by New Generation continue to come to our center on a daily basis to receive food, take part in activities and be supported through their schooling. New short term accomodation blocks have been built and a new house has been rented to provide longer term support for some of the girls who are now looked after by New Generation. As an organisation that has worked with street children for many years, we know how much this crisis is affecting children in general and street children in particular. When everybody else is running back to their homes for shelter and protection from bullets, street children have no safe place to run to. They get caught up in clashes between the police and the protesters and struggle to find something to eat as most shops are closed and people have no money to give away.

So alongside providing for the physical needs of the children, New Generation has been promoting active non-violence among the youth in Burundi. Through different meetings and activities (often involving football), we have been able to speak to young people from different provinces, ethnic groups and political movements about healing and reconciliation.

We would like to thank all our partners who continue to support us through this work, not least providing food and shelter to these children. We also ask you to continue supporting them during these hard times.

Thank you

 
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