Under the prestigious 2011 fellowship of the Dekeyser and Friends Foundation (D&F) www.dekeyserandfriends.org , an organization which vision is to inspire young people and enable them to follow their dreams by linking them to experienced personalities who want to share their passion, experience and knowledge; a Burundian young person- Armand- gained hands-on experience from Phd. Samuel Ross, founder of Green Chimneys School (GC) www.greenchimneys.org. Armand got inspired by Green Chimneys School’s birth, growth and its ethics of work and then, back to home, he associated other youth from different backgrounds to develop the IAP-Initiatives and Actions for Peace and Development- http://www.actionsforyouthburundi.wordpress.com which mission is to equip youth with entrepreneurship skills in order to allow them to create their own employment opportunities and to combine vocational training with workshops on peace-building, reconciliation, democratic values, good governance and human basic values.
With a per capita GDP of around $300, Burundi is the poorest country in the World and unfortunately not known for its beauty but rather for its long civil crisis and the associated genocide that caused many deaths and where youth were highly victimized and involved in violence perpetuation.
65% of Burundian population is youth and they represent the labor of the country and the hope of the future.
The goal of the IAP is it to contribute to a positive change in our country. We want to put Burundi on the map as a place, where youth are taking up their future in their hands and work towards improving their situation.
What is most lacking for young people in our country are vocational training and job opportunities for them. Youth are largely left to themselves without any support. This creates a high potential of them of being again engaged in violence perpetuation, particularly in that period where there is political tensions here in Burundi which may lead the country back to the civil crisis. However, before getting into the profound of our project, we would like to organize a series of workshops and conferences towards our beneficiaries and all the community actors, from the government members, Embassies representatives, Scholars and academicians, Local and International NGOS. The objectives of these workshops are to raising awareness of the issue of youth empowerment for peace and sustainable development and then get all of those stakeholders involved in supporting youth through our work. These are networking and fundraising events. People need to exchange on youth challenges to develop and therefore set up together solutions to be implemented. Thus, it is also to get people engaged in supporting that initiative.
Get involved – by donating no more than a small amount of money you will enable a young person to recover hope, create her/his job and thus participate to the building of peace and sustainable development.