Burundi, located in the heart of the African Great Lakes region, has seen more than a decade of violence and conflict which has contributed to widespread poverty, according to UNICEF. Since it obtained independence from Belgium in 1962, the nation has recorded five episodes of civil war that have claimed more than 500,000 lives and have produced about a million refugees.

Conflict hinders agriculture, which is the backbone of Burundi’s economy. Nearly 90 percent of the population depends on agriculture for its livelihood. Due to Burundi’s civil war, poverty increased from 48 to 67 percent of the population between 1994 and 2006. Rising food prices affect families’ livelihoods and increase their susceptibility to repetitive natural threats. These threats include flooding, droughts, landslides and the impact of climate change.

More Missions In Burundi

Provide technical & vocational training

Despite conflict and chaos that often dominates communities in Burundi, Salesian missionaries focus on their mission of providing an education and job skills to youth. At the Salesian Don Bosco Vocational Training Center Gatenga, in the city of Ruyigi in eastern Burundi, students are learning the craft of wood making. The wood making program is part of local Salesian missionaries’ efforts to provide youth an education and trade skill training as well as valuable work experience in an effort to increase future employment opportunities.

Salesian missionaries also teach at the Salesian vocational training center in Buterere, a suburb of the capital Bujumbura. In northern areas of the country, classes continue to operate as usual in institutions like the Don Bosco School in Ngozi, a large Salesian boarding school.

Bridging the gap between school curriculum and the practical skills needed to succeed in the labor market, all the programs offered at Salesian vocational training centers allow students to put the skills they have learned in the classroom into practice under the guidance of qualified workers and supervisors. Through this work in the field, students learn new techniques and gain a hands-on application of classroom studies.

Build orphanages & shelters for homeless youth

Salesian missionaries in Rukago inaugurated a new building for the Maison Cana orphanage. The orphanage is managed by the Daughters of Mary – Our Lady of Cana and was founded in 1994 by Salesian Father Vital Minani, who today is the vicar of the Mary Mother of God house in Rukago.

The building is a large two-story structure. The work began in 2012 with the ground floor and continued in various stages based on the availability of funds from various benefactors, mainly from the Salesian Congregation. The initial build of the first floor was completed thanks to the donation from the Formons une Famille (Let’s Form a Family) Foundation in Quebec, Canada.

Empower girls & women through education

Launched in January 2017 by the Spanish Salesian-run organization, Don Bosco Solidarity, the “Improving the Opportunities for Women in Rukago” project has been making an impact on women in the rural Rukago community of Burundi. The project was implemented at the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center of Buterere to help women gain the skills needed to find and retain employment. It was launched in direct response to the high incidence of sexual violence, the stigma of HIV and the high maternal mortality rate faced by women in Burundi.

To date, more than 40 young women have received quality training in the hotel and restaurant employment sectors. In addition, an employment office was created to assist students with résumés, interviewing and connecting with employers who are hiring. The project offers courses in cooking and hotel management as well as workshops that help educate the community about gender equality and the benefits of quality employment for women.

Improve infrastructure

Students and staff at the Salesian Vocational Training Center in Rukago have access to better nutrition thanks to Salesian Missions donors. Recent funding was provided to build a new kitchen at the center where lunches can be prepared. Prior to the donation, the daily lunches offered each student were prepared in an inadequate and unsanitary kitchen.

Salesian missionaries in the area are working to improve opportunities for vocational and technical skills training for youth so they are better able to find and retain stable employment. More than 230 students attend the vocational training center taking courses in mechanics, carpentry, welding and construction. In addition to their studies, they dedicate time to traditional activities such as catechism and sports.

Deliver life-saving meals

Children are some of the most severely affected by the rampant poverty in Burundi. Fifty-three percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from growth stunting caused by inadequate food, low-quality diet, poor infant feeding practices, poor household management of childhood diseases and the general decline of the country’s health system.

More than 1,600 students attending Don Bosco high schools in Ngozi and Buterere had access to better nutrition during the second half of 2023 thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organization growing a global movement to end hunger. One of the recipient schools, Don Bosco High School in Ngozi, has 1,088 students, including 778 boys and 310 girls. Since its foundation, the school has faced food shortages due to a lack of funding. The available land is not enough to produce a sufficient quantity of food to feed the 650 students in the boarding school.

Respond to disasters & emergencies

The Salesian Parish in Rukago has access to hand-washing stations thanks to funding from Salesian Missions. This project, which benefited 65,000 people in the parish and local community, provided hand-washing stations in eight churches, 15 schools and the Don Bosco Oratory.

“Installing hand-washing stations in front of churches, offices, schools and playgrounds is an effective means of fighting the coronavirus pandemic while giving the local population the hope of living,” said Father Raphaël Katanga, economer of the Salesian Community in Rukago. “With the funding, we have also supported some vulnerable families from a local indigenous group, who were at risk of facing food shortage due to the limited circulation of goods and people.”


From Burundi

Fund a project

Provide a Used Bus for High School Students

Country: Burundi

Help provide the funds to purchase a used bus for high school students at Lycee Don Bosco in Burundi

Date Added: July 15, 2021
Country: Burundi*

To purchase a small, slightly used bus = $54,154.00

Project Information

From Burundi

GLOBAL: Salesian Missions launches ‘Loaves & Fishes’ annual fundraiser to support aid shipments

For every dollar donated, Salesian Missions is able to ship $14 worth of critical goods. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 16, 2024) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, recently launched its annual “Lo

BURUNDI: More than 1,600 students receive meals through Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger

People facing high levels of food insecurity across the country.   NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 2, 2024) More than 1,600 students attending Don Bosco high schools in Ngozi and Buterere, Burundi*, had access to better nutrition during

GLOBAL: Salesian Missions launches Annual Food Distribution Appeal

Donor funding helps transport life-changing meals to programs around the globe. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 9, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has launched its Annual Food Distribution A

(ACI Africa) Salesians in Burundi boost learning in partnership realizing “access to better nutrition”

BUJUMBURA, Burundi March 13, 2023 (Excerpt) Members of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in Burundi are boosting learning at their institution in the country’s Catholic Diocese of Ngozi in a partnership

BURUNDI: Students facing hunger receive meals

Rise Against Hunger partners with Salesian Missions, which works to identify needs. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 6, 2023) Students attending Don Bosco High School, located in Ngozi, Burundi*, had access to better nutrition during the s

INT’L DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY: Salesian Missions focuses on life-changing education and social programs

In more than 5,500 Salesian schools and centers, missionaries educate youth in some of the poorest places on the planet. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 17, 2022) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, j

BURUNDI: Students benefit from new desks and books

Lycée Don Bosco in Buterere receives donor funding from Salesian Missions. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 8, 2022) A new secondary school, known as Lycée Don Bosco in Buterere, Burundi, received funding for materials to build 100 desk

BURUNDI: Students improve at school with rice-meal donation

Students attending Lycée Don Bosco receive healthy nutrition thanks to Salesian Missions partnership with Rise Against Hunger. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 6, 2021) Students attending Lycée Don Bosco, located in Bujumbura, Burundi, ha

GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY: Salesian Missions highlights programs that provide clean water access for hand-washing and proper hygiene

Working and living in the communities they serve, Salesian missionaries are perfectly positioned to ensure that soap and other hygiene items reach those most in need. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 15, 2021) Salesian Missions, the U.S. de

GLOBAL: Funding supports most vulnerable during pandemic with food and prevention measures

Salesian Missions funds COVID-19-related projects to provide nutritional support and prevention measures in countries around the globe. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 2, 2021) When the global COVID-19 pandemic struck and countries began l

Funding Opportunities

in Burundi

Agriculture Training Programs

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Feed a Child

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Technology Program

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.