The current crisis in Burundi which began in 2015 has involved youth demonstrators in opposition to the government with considerable retaliation by the security forces. The social structure of the society, particularly in Bujumbura where most of the demonstrations occurred, has fractured social cohesion. Through workshops and dialogues, this project will bring reconciliation between the youth of different political parties and between the youth demonstrators and the security forces.
When the 2015 crisis developed in Burundi due to the president's campaign for another term in office, youth in Bujumbura exploded in demonstrations and sometimes violence. The security forces responded with force against the youthful demonstrators, arresting, beating, and sometimes killing youth. The youth themselves became unmanageable in even their attendance in secondary schools and universities. Youth from different political parties also used intimidation and violence against each other.
Innovations in Peacemaking-Burundi will bring youth, often from different political parties, together in workshops designed to teach trauma healing and non-violence resolution of conflicts. This will occur in high schools, universities including the police and army universities, and out of school youth. Peace clubs will be formed and empowered in every Bujumbura university. When this is accomplished, dialogues will also be conducted between the youth and government and its security officials.
If youth remain alienated and isolated from Burundian society, it will not be able to prosper. Therefore this program will promote self-esteem and cooperation by the youth with the government, security forces, and the general population. This will make a stable, secure peace in Bujumbura. Youth who have been reached in secondary schools and universities will then be able to positively impact the development of their local community including those who will return up-country after graduation.