Reconciliation of Refugees Returning from Exile.

by Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi
Reconciliation of Refugees Returning from Exile.

IPB DECEMBER 2021 NARRATIVE REPORT

Introduction

This report is shared the day before the GlobalGiving’s year-End campaign. That I invite you to participate in yourself and let your family members and friend to donate for the project aiming at reconciling returnees from the Exile in Burundi. This December Monthly Donation will last for 5 days since December 13 till 17, 2021.

 The IPB’s action plan 2021-2022, aligned reintegration of returnees from the exile as the priority.

Following this action plan, IPB conducted a three days’ Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities basic workshop in Musaga secondary Scholl with twenty (20) students including seven (7) male and thirteen female (13). Among them returnees the exile. this workshop was conducted on December 2 till 4, 2021

Following are key stories from that peace workshop

 Eloi: I was wounded by my father’s death and my mother’s behavior following this death. Being his beloved son, my father urged me to be his keep sick. In that circumstance, he told me encouraging stories and many advises regarding life. Without much delay, he passed away. After his death, my mother left me and married another man. This act became an opportunity for my family members to appropriate our property. Both my mother and my family members rejected me. I was taken care by a neighbor until today. During the 2015 crisis I moved for a refugee camp. As the situation standardized itself a little bite we came back in Bujumbura. These situation affected me at the point I miss sleep during the night. Bad dreams and flash back, despair, lack of confidence in anybody, fear of death and other bad things overwhelmed me.

I’m thankful for the neighbor who took care of me and kept me in school in the conditions he was able to afford. Many thanks to IPB-HROC for this training of trauma and the way to overcome from it. This is my first time to speak out my situation and I believe that I will be healed.

Francine: I want to confess the grief I carry for years due the loss of two children within my family that happened almost the same period and I have the same age of one of them. The first died on Christmas day when the second followed the same week.   The first was taken care at the hospital where he was given the first medication and died suddenly. The second died after. During this workshop I got chance to see symptoms that I developed yet as wounds of this grief. 

Many thanks to IPB-HROC and its partners that are concerned by trauma situation. I didn’t believe I could get opportunity to know and speak out my psychological situation

 

Report by Elie Nahimana, Project leader

On the behalf of IPB

 


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Project appeal for November and December 2021 donations

1.     GivingTuesday

2.    End year donation

December 13-17, 2021 is the end-year donations. In this period GlobalGiving we will provide a one-time match on new monthly donations up to $200 at 200%.

Burundi’ sociopolitical improvement

In a Communiqué made public this Friday, May 7, 2020, the 993rd meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the African Union Human Rights Observers and Military Experts Mission in Burundi said Burundi is removed from its agenda. The Council called the international community to immediately lift all sanctions and other forms of punitive measures imposed against Burundi without further delay.

The council welcomes the improved relations between Burundi and its neighbours, as well as with the European Union and other bilateral and multilateral partners and encourages the Burundian stakeholders to preserve the gains achieved since the peaceful transition, and calls on all parties to embrace the spirit of political tolerance to foster national cohesion and reconciliation.

Since then, remarkable improvement of the sociopolitical situation in Burundi was testified at the national, regional and the international level.

As a result of this:

·         The European Union removed sanctions imposed to Burundi in 2015

·         Yesterday, Joe Biden President of America comes to removes the sanctions imposed to Burundi in 2015 in what he called “the executive order on the termination of emergency with respect to the situation in Burundi “

·         Refugees living there came and still coming in mass groups.

Please donate to support returnees’ effective reintegration for social cohesion and reconciliation in Burundi

 

Elie Nahimana

Project leader

 

 

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Introduction

This is the IPB September 2021 narrative report of meeting organized with Musaga Secondary school I & II peace club at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year on September 20, 2021. There were seventy one (71) participants including thirty nine (39) females and thirty two (32) males. 

It aims at welcoming returnees from the exile mainly in Rwanda attending this school for the 2021-2022 school year.

It was also an occasion to evaluate what accomplishment needed for those returnees for effective reintegration at school as well as in their community.

Representatives of returnees appreciated to see the peace club focusing on trauma healing and social cohesion. One of their representative made a brief presentation on how life looks like in refugee camp. He recognized that they experienced trauma there and wish to get psychological assistance too.

 Some Key success stories

Evelyne

I was taken care by my grandmother since my little age due to the fact that my parent never married each other legally. Fleeing to Rwanda, I knew that my father went there.

Reaching there, his wife didn’t want me to live in their quarter. I live there as an orphan. This re-wounded me more and more.

Life is even not easy here as I find my grandmother has died. I’m glad to meet a peace club here, I wish I should be accepted to be part of it. This may give me a channel where I should be sharing my burden of each day.

Thank you all

Jeanine

I lost my mother when I was still little child. We grew up with more problems with my young sister. Being refugees came to worsen the situation. When we reach Burundi, learnt that my young sister is pregnant at 17 years old and my father chased her from our home. Since then my father lost confidence in myself saying I will be like my young sister. I don’t believe, I will continue to pay school fees for me?

I wish I should have time for trauma healing and be like my classmates whom I find joyful and peaceful. Always with a smile which is different to my behavior of being troubled all the time.

Thank you

Gisele

 Life in refugee camp was so tough due to the life of suffient food and water. All things are given at a very law quantity even wood for cooking. The subject there is only politic of division.

Life there was very hard even here after six year outside the country. We don’t see how we should reach where we were before fleeing. We don’t get enough food as it was in refugee’s camp. I don’t think we should adjust the life as those who stayed within the country.

We need help for years.

 

 

Reported by Elie Nahimana

Project leader

On September 30, 2021

 

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  1. Context

Following the 2020 peaceful election in Burundi, Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi (IPB) with GlobalGiving fund launched a new project aiming at the reconciliation of refugees returning in their community since September 2020.  This was influenced by the fact that Refugees themselves living Mahama Camp wrote a letter to the Burundi new President of Republic claiming for their coming back in their home land. Since then, those from Tanzania doubled the number that was coming back before. The new President of the Republic responded positively to that demand which coincided with the government wish. He urged also those living the East Africa Community and the rest of the world to come back. Without much waiting, those living in Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and RD Congo declared their wish to return home. Refugees came back massively and are in need of effective reintegration in their native community 

Performed activity

On May 29, 2021 IPB in collaboration with TWEGERANE Association organized a meeting to reconcile the returnees from Mahama Camp in Rwanda and Nduta refugee Camp in Tanzania and their community of origin. This meeting held in Kirundo province met together forty participants (40) including twenty representatives (20) of returnees from Bwambarangwe, Gitobe, Busoni and Bugabira communes and twenty (20) representatives of the local administration, civil society and representatives of returnees’ communities of origin.

 The counselor of the provincial governor was there to open the meeting and three (3) journalists to broadcast the activity outcome at its end and take interviews.

All of them congratulated the organization of this meeting promoting social cohesion and reconciliation between returnees and their communities of origin.

Appreciations

Both returnees and those who remained within the country appreciated the meeting which reinforces peaceful relations between the two groups. They both recognized that many things need to be done to uphold the daily life of returnees. They underlined their lack of health care means, shelters for some, food to connect their arrival period and that of harvesting what they cultivated and raised. A considerable number of them need psychological assistance first.

Key stories success

 One of the returnees said: “before taking refuge in Mahama Camp in Rwanda, I thought I could come back three months after.  The situation continued to be tough and worse in Burundi until the 2020 peaceful election. This peaceful election created in me and my family confidence to come back. We appreciate this meeting of reconciliation which becomes a follow up of our reintegration”. 

A second one said: I have been traumatized by the life in Nduta refugee’s Camp due to lack of enough fire wood for cooking, we were obliged to leave the camp in secret to look for fire wood out of the camp. Some time we were apprehended by security agents and be punished by them”.

A third one said: You never think about a promising future once you are in a refugee camp. You get the same kind of food in unsatisfied quantity. Children asking you daily what will be the end. I’m glad to have returned home and find people having mercy to us and some trying to help so that we should adjust our daily life”.  

Conclusion

IPB is proud of GlobalGiving contribution for the effective social cohesion in Burundi in general.

 

Elaborated by Elie Nahimana

Project leader

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Some participants at the meeting of peace exchange between of returnees from Mahama refugees ‘camp and their neighbors members of Twegerane Association in Kirundo Province. Photo by Elie N.
 
 
Bujumbura, March 2021
1. Context
The 2015 election crisis was characterized by violence related to the disagreements generated by the controversial 3rd mandate of former President Pierre Nkurunziza. this resulted in  a political disagreement and a street protests to force the president to withdraw his candidacy to a third mandate. These protests were stopped by the Government and the police resulting in confrontation between the civil population and the security forces in particular the police, causing the death of more than 700 people and the exile of more than 300,000 people including the political leaders of the opposition and the leaders of the civil society organizations.
In responding the situation, GlobalGiving facilitated a fund collection for IPB’s project to reconcile the youth and the police since from 2018 till 2020 aiming at Reconciling Youth and Police in Bujumbura, Burundi”.  
After the 2020 peaceful election, a new project aiming at the reconciliation of refugees returning from Exile. For this aim, a peaceful cohesion meeting between representatives of those returning from Mahama Camp and those who stayed in the country was organized by IPB in collaboration Twegerane Association of Kirundo on March 5, 2021. Forty participants were there including 30 returnees and ten members of Twegerane Association from three communes including Kirundo, Vumbi and Ntega Communes.
The four remaining communes will be met in April.
Government appreciations
Ceremonies of that day was opened by the counselor of the Kirundo governor in charge of socio-cultural affairs Mr John Baptiste KWIZERA who congratulated those who organized this meeting promoting trauma healing and social cohesion via reintegrating returnees from the exile, mainly those coming from Rwanda who are many it this province. He asked them to  join local associations that are in each community for their effective reintegration and reconciliation. He urged those who remained within the country to take care of those returnees.
Pastor Elie presentation
 
A presentation on the link between trauma healing, social cohesion and the economic resilience was made by IPB’ representative to show the importance of that king of meeting between those coming from exile and those who stayed in the country. He expressed what are the prioritizes needs for those returnees after five years in the refugees camp.
 
 
Returnees’ comments
Returnees appreciated the welcome reserved to them and the follow up made by local organizations and their community of origin in particular. They expressed how tough it will be for them to reach where those who stayed are today in the domain of development. Many things need to be done for them  
Local associations’ appreciation
Local’s organization’s leaders dealing with repatriates were present including those promoting the wellbeing of women repatriates to welcome women in that local association that have a sub office in Kirundo town. Handicapped returnees also got a warm welcome in Twegerane local association having branches in each commune of Kirundo province. Returnees appreciated this opportunity to know more about their neighborhood environments.
Conclusion
IPB and Twegerane organization are proud of this peace activity contributing to the effective social cohesion in Burundi in general and Kirundo province in particular
Elaborated by Elie Nahimana
 
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Organization Information

Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi

Location: Bujumbura - Burundi
Project Leader:
Elie Nahimana
Bujumbura, Burundi
$4,234 raised of $5,000 goal
 
81 donations
$766 to go
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