New Generation emerged from the civil war that engulfed Burundi between 1993-2005. They work to enable children and young people from the streets to reach their full potential and become leaders of a new Burundi.
Recognised nationally as an example of best practice when working across ethnic groups, New Generation originally worked with children orphaned during Burundi’s civil war, responding to the lack of social protection and care by providing accommodation, healthcare and access to education, with the aim of reintegrating children into the communities they came from.
New era. New vision. New Generation. A new peaceful Burundi inspired by young people who were once street children.New Generation
They continue to respond to the effects of years of civil war amongst the young generations on the streets: engaging them through outreach, a back to school programme and reintegration support and entrepreneurship training for older boys and young women.
New Generation was founded, and is headed, by a former street child and visionary, Dieudonne Nahimana. Dieudonne found himself living on the streets with other street children after the brutal murder of his father during the war. Dieudonne says that on the streets he noticed something.
Street children were one of the first groups to throw away the notion of ethnic difference in BurundiDieudonne Nahimana
This inspired him to set up New Generation, a project that drew strength from, and with, street children to not only get kids off the streets but also to develop leaders for a new Burundi.
New Generation has three main components:
1. Street children: New generation empowers street children to be able to leave street life and be reintegrated back into society. It has a stabilisation centre in Bujumbura where street children can come to straight off the streets and receive care, counsel, nutrition, healthcare and education. Children are assessed and if possible reintegrated. If this is not possible the children are able to grow up at one of two New Generation houses in Bujumbura. New Generation also fights human trafficking. This started during the war, by stopping rebels from using street children as child soldiers. It is now focused on ensuring that street girls are not trafficked, often to Uganda, for the sex trade.
2. Leadership Training: New Generation selects potential leaders emerging from the local schools as well as street children to be leaders of integrity. They learn from each other infusing the experiences of street children as central to their learning. It develops as many young people as possible to be leaders for change. This is a nation-building programme built on the experiences of street children and other good leadership principles.
3. Reconciliation and Peace Building: New Generation has clubs in schools and communities where members work towards developing and changing their community. This is a direct response to the war.
These are the opposite of the clubs (or gangs) that formed during the war where young people meet to do drugs, sex and war.Dieudonne Nahimana
New Generation Clubs are youth clubs for children aged 16 years and above. When they join, they undertake training which finishes after one year at which point they are able to help train others.
Many graduates of New Generation have gone on to play important roles in Burundi and continue to play key roles in the direction of New Generation.
For more information about New Generation visit their website.