In the battle against poverty, physical education can play a crucial role in helping young people. It gets them off the streets where other activities may cause them harm. It gives them pride in being healthy and fit, which can be a deterrent to the offer of drugs or other poor recreational choices. It gives them the joy of belonging to a team and the fulfilment of additional purpose in their lives.

So, when a company offered sports uniforms, and balls, in the UK, through Global Hand, the NGO Food for the Hungry took them for their development work in Burundi. The pride in the faces of these young people speaks loudly to their delight at this provision. (see main photo below)

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Education and job creation

Burundi_1Life for marginalised groups in rural Burundi is tough. Orphans, widows, teenagers and minority tribespeople are all among those who are most vulnerable in their communities. While 83,000 in Burundi are still living with HIV/Aids, that number is, thankfully, declining. This is in part because of the efforts of groups such as our partners, who have a network of community educators visiting and speaking with villages about the risks and prevention.

Crossroads’ partner in Burundi is creating training and job opportunities for vulnerable people groups, as well as educating orphans and teaching communities about HIV prevention. Our shipment will help them expand and continue these programmes.

Potential impact:

  • 2,000 reached through HIV and other education workshops
  • 50 youth training in computer centre
  • 500 orphans and widows supported with necessities and healthcare
  • Thousands offered free health check-ups and tests

Shipment includes:

  • Computers for youth training centre
  • Clothing and blankets for orphans and widows
  • Medical supplies and equipment for free clinics
  • Appliances and furniture to support HIV education

    A80When Mahuwa talks to women about HIV/Aids and sexual violence, she’s speaking from tragic experience. Mahuwa was once working as a prostitute, trying desperately to support her child when she was raped and fell pregnant to her attacker. Now, instead of working in the sex industry, she supports her family by teaching women in her community about their rights, and  how to prevent HIV/Aids.

    This shipment will include office equipment and furniture to help train and employ more women like Mahuwa as community peer educators.

A22When Fabrice (above) was just a little boy, every member of his family was killed in Burundi’s civil violence. Left alone in the world, Fabrice was driven out of his home and on to the streets. Like many young Burundian boys in his situation, Fabrice was drawn into the conflict and became a combat soldier, but he always longed to return to school for the education that he had missed out on. Thankfully, Crossroads’ partner was working in his area and met Fabrice. They enrolled him into school and covered the costs of his education. Fabrice graduated form 6 just last year!

This shipment will help train 50 youth like Fabrice in computer skills so that they have a better chance at a job after finishing school. Crossroads’ shipment will include computers for their centre.

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Burundi Snapshot

Population: 10.16 million
Capital: Bujumbura

Population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 81%

Burundi’s most recent civil war and genocide in the 1990s raised the national poverty level by 20%.

Burundi is ranked 167 out of 177 countries in the 2008 Human Development Index (based on 2005 data), and its infant and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in Africa.