The mother and child shelter “Centre Nyubahiriza” (meaning “Respect Us!” in Kirundi) is located in the district of Mutakura, at the northern periphery of Bujumbura. It offers rooms for 20 to 25 girls or young women at the ages of 14 (or even younger) up to 20 (or even a little bit older). Either they are pregnant or live there with their babies and toddlers.
The young women are mostly victims of sexual exploitation and/or abuse such as rape. They find a secure place to stay where they do not have to worry about feeding themselves and their children nor about their physical security. They receive medical and psychological counselling and have the opportunity to go to school or learn a trade.
Some girls participate in the training as seamstresses. During their training they produce goods like dolls, Christmas angels, place mats or blankets, which are sold in Germany and locally. The proceeds go into financing the centre.
After a certain time of recovery and fostering, it is the aim of the centre to reintegrate the young women into still existing family structures or to enable them to fend for themselves. Often this is facilitated through a microcredit, which the women use to establish a small trade, for example with coal, oil or food.
The support in the centre is provided by the headmistress Apoline, an instructor for the seamstresses, night guards, a female nurse and a female psychologist and social worker.