In March 2014, street children from around the world will travel to Rio, Brazil for the Street Child World Cup. By taking part they will add their voices to an international campaign to provide hope for millions of children who still live on the streets. New Generation is a project working with street children in Burundi. We want to help a team of children from Burundi get to Rio - travelling as Burundian ambassadors as well as showing that peace is possible in this recently war-torn country.
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and has only recently emerged from over eighteen years of civil war. Half of the street children in Burundi are on the streets because of the war. Whilst many charities work hard to help Burundian street children on a daily basis - providing food, sanitation, accommodation and education - the reasons children live on the streets are harder to solve. Change needs to take place within the government and with people in society more generally.
New Generation was started by Dieudonne Nahimana, who says, "Our focus is to raise a new generation of leaders who will have an impact on the future of our country. Especially those forgotten in society. Especially the street children." Team Burundi will have children from both ethnic groups playing football alongside each other and travelling to Rio as ambassadors for Burundi. This project is already giving them a voice and we want the government and others to engage in a proper conversation.
Before and after the Street Child World Cup, the team will tour Burundi to show that it is possible to work together to rebuild the country. Part of the legacy of Team Burundi's involvement at the Street Child World Cup is the construction of a village for the younger street children to live in, modelling a peaceful future for the country. "This will help every child to keep dreaming, to keep hope for the future. To say, 'We can have an impact in the future of our country'" (Dieudonne)