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Where is Burundi?

Burundi is a landlocked country in Central Africa.

Our impact

Overview

Burundi has experienced decades of political instability and conflict, including two civil wars which caused a deterioration in living standards and social cohesion. The recurring conflicts have resulted in some countries imposing sanctions on Burundi, worsening the situation and causing a major budget deficit. Today, it remains amongst the poorest countries in the world, with one of the highest infant mortality rates in Africa.

Deforestation and soil erosion, coupled with climate change, have led to poor harvests. This has had a devastating impact on the majority of the population who rely on farming for both food and income.

Women living in Burundi are particularly likely to live in poverty, mainly due to harmful gender norms that can result in discimination, violence and exclusion from formal employment, education and financial services.

Consolate (middle) carries her five-year-old daughter on her back as she works in the field. Credit: Paul Mbonankira/Tearfund

Our work in Burundi

Tearfund has worked in partnership with local organisations in Burundi since 1998. We envision and equip church and community leaders to respond to the needs in their local communities and lead transformation and development projects.

Self-help groups

We equip church and community leaders to set up and facilitate self-help groups in their local areas. These community groups welcome people who want to save money and/or start income-generating activities.

As a result of these groups, health centres, church buildings, roads, bridges and community halls have been built, and more than 500 families have started their own businesses and improved their standard of living.

Addressing sexual and gender-based violence

We address sexual and gender-based violence by using our Transforming Masculinities approach to challenge harmful gender norms and stereotypes among boys and men.

Our Journey to Healing workshops provide emotional support to survivors of violence. So far, more than 63 survivor groups have been formed and more than 2,000 survivors have been supported to heal and lift themselves and their households out of poverty.

Combatting malnutrition

We are working with our partners to provide malnourished children and mothers with nutritional food, including porridge made from local produce. This is also helping to provide communities with an awareness of the causes, symptoms and dangers of malnutrition.

Peacebuilding

We work closely with communities to restore peace and social cohesion. We use our Conflict Transformation approach to address different conflicts, and support faith and community leaders to face the past and build a peaceful future together through our Healing of Memories programme.

So far, 228 peacebuilding champions have been trained to hold weekly meetings in their neighbourhoods. In addition, hundreds of faith leaders have gone through a Healing of Memories training session and more than 5,000 people have participated in social events to improve relationships and social cohesion.

Children wave from a window in the town of Songa, Burundi. Credit: Paul Mbonankira/Tearfund

Partnerships and funding

We are currently working with six local partners in Burundi: the Anglican Church of Burundi network (Diocese of Matana, the Diocese of Rumonge and Diocese of Bujumbura); Help Channel Burundi; Green Land; and Fraternité Évangélique du Christ en Afrique au Burundi (FECABU).

Our work in Burundi is funded by key investors, trusts and foundations, as well as by the generous donations of individuals and churches. We have also received institutional funding from the UK Government (FCDO) for our Covid-19 response work, and from the Start Fund to support our work with people affected by flooding.

A church service in the Diocese of Matana, Burundi. Credit: Paul Mbonankira/Tearfund

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