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01.25.2013 - News

Burundi: A centre dedicated to football for children in a street situation

The round ball as a vehicle for social binding

In the town of Bujumbara there are some 2,500 children living on the streets. To bring help to them, it is necessary to accompany and support them to become reintegrated into society. With this goal in mind, the Giriyuja association, Tdh’s partner, will open a community centre in the very heart of the town by the end of 2013. This centre is intended for kids living on the streets as well for children at risk in the outlying quarters, and it will aim at reintegrating those children left to fend for themselves. As the most popular sport in Burundi , football will be at the core of all the socio-educational activities proposed and used as a real tool for the personal development of these vulnerable children.

An offer of free services to the children of the community

Deprived of access to healthcare and education, kids in a street situation have no security and are especially vulnerable to risks. Thanks to this centre, they will from now on have free access to many services. Psychosocial activities around football will be held every day in the centre (training, courses for referees, physical education) so as to teach the young people how to handle conflict, for example, and events getting the whole community together will be organized around the theme of child protection. But beyond the sports activities, the youngsters will have preferential access to healthcare and education, thanks to the establishment of a consultation room and classes for literacy in Kirundi and in French. Courses in English will also be offered to the kids and young adults. Finally, counselling will be provided by psychologists and social workers, with a system of referrals for sending the youngsters on to the services appropriate to their needs.

Appeal to our partners

The realisation of the ‘Football For Hope’ centre project has been made possible thanks to the support of the Town Council of Bujumbura and the Burundi Ministry of Sport, who made a football ground available in Kabondo district. The FIFA, as initiator of the programme, proposes to finance the infrastructure of the centre. Terre des hommes will give its expertise in setting up the project, and will coordinate the work of the various parties concerned, and with Giriyuja, will jointly finance the functioning of the centre.

With the aim of best implementing the project, new partners are needed to accompany the youngsters on their difficult path. Tdh and Giriyuja are inviting the parties who work on child protection in Burundi (health services, school heads, local NGOs) to use this centre for offering their services to the children at risk. Although the opening of the centre is near (December 2013), Tdh and Giriyuja are still looking for funding to develop other projects and other services to be including at the centre (schooling, a canteen, accommodation). The Burundi delegation of Terre des hommes suggests that you support them in setting up the ‘Football For Hope’ centre, by regularly keeping in touch with news about its construction.