Mar 8, 2016

Ambassadors for peace and reconciliation

While the political situation in Burundi has continued to deteriorate, and violence is reported on an almost daily basis, the children at New Generation are looking 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.

But in the midst of this uncertainty, six members of New Generation are travelling to Rio as ambassadors for Burundi at the Street Child Games in March 2016. They will participate in Olympic-themed sports, celebrating the right of all children to play and express themselves in a safe setting. At the heart of the games is a model-UN style Congres where street-connected children will lead the discussion on the issues they face. The outcome of the Congress will be resolution to be presented to governments, the United Nations and a letter to the IOC regarding the rights of vulnerable children around Mega Sporting Events.

And the children from New Generation will travel back to Burundi, hopefully to inspire the other street children who live as part of New Generation, and those still on the streets, that things can change and children's voices can be heard. 

Dec 9, 2015

A place of safety in midst of political choas

Since April 2015, Burundi has been experiencing a serious political crisis that has caused many to flee to neighbouring countries and others to lose their lives. It is against this political backdrop that New Generation has been looking to provide a place of safety for the children in our care, as well as playing a part in a nationwide campaign to promote peace and reconciliation. 

Schools have now re-opened in Burundi and life is continuing as much as possible, against a backdrop of ever present social instability and a very real threat of violence.   

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

Jun 9, 2015

Update: fundraising for street children in Burundi

Burundi needs you today

You may have seen in the news that the political situation in Burundi is particularly volatile at the moment. There are daily protests and barricades on the streets of Bujumbura as protestors try to put pressure on the president not to stand for a third term in office, which they argue is unconstitutional. It is difficult to move about the capital, and hunger and disease are major problems.

During these demonstrations, the police fire tear gas and live bullets to disperse the protesters and sometimes the protesters retaliate by throwing stones or committing other crimes. Most organisations and shops have closed and most workers have been prohibited by demonstrators from going to work.

Near the New Generation Centre, various roadblocks have been placed by the youth from the district. Although many staff have had to leave the country for safety reasons, we are doing our best to look after the children here.

Street Children Program

Although the schools have closed, children supported by New Generation continue to come to our center on a daily basis to take part in activities. Teddy Claude, the project manager of the street children program, is currently living at the New Generation Centre, ensuring the safety of our children.

However, 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.

We would like to thank all our partners who continue to support us through this work of providing food and shelter to these children. Let us pray for these little ones not to get involved or harmed during this period. We also ask you to continue supporting them during these hard times.

Promoting active non-violence

Many of the protesters are young people, therefore we have been working with groups such as the Scout movement to exchange ideas on the current situation and to organise  strategies to be used during demonstrations in order to promote active non-violence.

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