In Burundi, many young graduates are unemployed, others dropped out or did not go to school. They depend on their parents and communities and they think that there is nothing they can do without financial help.
Since 2014, Roots of Hope works at restoring young people’s self-esteem, their ability to dream and act in the Bujumbura area. They start by unveiling the strengths and ideas for projects that youth have and that could benefit themselves and their communities. They then help them putting their ideas into action by combining an adapted SALT-CLCP approach, entrepreneurship courses and accompaniment of income-generating activities.
The team also organises (1) regular SALT visits to support each individual, each group; (2) exchange visits for young people who are starting out with young people who have already developed their project; (3) events bringing together young people, the administration, the provincial services, religious denominations, the schools of the commune, during which each group presents the contributions it is ready to provide and its expectations.
Since they are aware of their strengths and develop their skills, they regain their autonomy, find joy in their work and no longer depend on the goodwill of government departments or companies.
In the last two projects of Roots of Hope, 571 young people attended the programme. Individually or in group, they started 399 income-generating activities.
The ‘Café as a Motor for Local Development’ project supported by the Fondation Roi Baudouin was launched in the communes of Rutegama and Giheta, then extended to Mbuye and Ndava: 200 youths trained, 160 income-generating activities.
The ‘Youth Enterprise Agribusiness Stimulation’ (YEAST) project supported by ‘Send a Cow Burundi’ is implemented in the communes of Mubimbi and Mutimbuzi: 371 youths trained, 225 individual income-generating activities, 14 group income-generating activities and 8 savings and loans associations.
Youth contribute to community development. For example, in 2019, 40 students returned to school as a result of their interventions. They are also involved in the fight against malaria, the sanitation of neighbourhoods, fruit tree plantations…
Their initiatives set an example for other young people in their neighbourhood and in communities nearby.
- Text and picture: Roots of Hope
- Project: Café as a Motor for Local Development; Date: 2016-2018
- Project: Youth Enterprise Agribusiness Stimulation (YEAST); Date: 2019-today
- Population: 571 youth in 6 communes near Bujumbura