Burundi

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 800 youth participating in three different Salesian-run programs in Burundi have had better access to nutrition through fortified rice-meals donations. The donations are part of an ongoing effort between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

Don Bosco High School, Ngozi was a primary recipient of food aid. The school has close to 750 students gaining a secondary education and the necessary foundation to help them pursue advanced studies. Students both live and learn at the school and are eligible to receive three balanced meals while in the program.

Don Bosco Buterere Youth Center was another recipient. Salesians care for at-risk youth and orphans once living on the streets, providing them food, shelter and an education. For some of the youth, the fortified rice-meals are the only balanced meal they receive in a day.

The Salesian Professional Center, Rukago also received the fortified rice-meals. This trade school helps poor youth learn professional trades that lead to livable wage employment.

In addition, more than 1,200 students attending Lycée Don Bosco, located in Bujumbura, had access to better nutrition in the first, second and third quarters of 2019, thanks to a shipment of Rise Against Hunger rice-meals that were provided to students during school hours. Students received one meal a day, five days a week and two meals on two days. Students attending Lycée Don Bosco often have challenges with hunger. Many do not have enough to eat and their studies suffer because of it. Students miss school or do not pay attention. They cannot focus on an empty stomach. The rice-meals are helping students focus and do better in 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.”

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From Burundi

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From Burundi

BURUNDI: Salesian Missions provides funding for hand-washing stations and food support for Salesian Parish in Rukago

The hand-washing stations were placed in eight churches, 15 schools and the Don Bosco Oratory, impacting 65,000 people. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 8, 2020) The Salesian Parish in Rukago, Burundi, has access to hand-washing stations th

BURUNDI: More than 1,200 students at Lycée Don Bosco have access to better nutrition thanks to Rise Against Hunger rice-meal donation

Rice-meal shipments from Rise Against Hunger improved the lives and health for students, enabling them to better focus on their studies. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 3, 2020) More than 1,200 students attending Lycée Don Bosco, located

BURUNDI: Students at Lycée Don Bosco have access to better nutrition thanks to Salesian Missions partnership with Rise Against Hunger

Rice-meal shipments from Rise Against Hunger improved the lives and health for students, enabling them to better focus on their studies. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 18, 2019) More than 1,200 students attending Lycée Don Bosco, located

WORLD FOOD DAY: Salesian Missions highlights feeding programs around the globe that ensure students have healthy diets

Feeding programs in Burundi, Cambodia, East Timor and Uganda illustrate the work of Salesians around the globe that support this year’s theme, which is focused on healthy diets. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 16, 2019) Salesian Missions

BURUNDI: More than 1,200 students at Lycée Don Bosco had access to better nutrition thanks to Rise Against Hunger rice-meals

Rice-meal shipments from Rise Against Hunger improved the lives and health for students, enabling them to better focus on their studies. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 16, 2019) More than 1,200 students attending Lycée Don Bosco, locate

Empowering Women to Build Better Lives

To be born female in Burundi is to be born an inferior citizen: one likely to suffer a lifetime of poverty and oppression from which it is virtually impossible to escape. Motivated by the conviction that all people deserve a chanc

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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.