Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi, has a population of over one million. During Burundi’s civil war, it was often the centre of ethnic clashes.
Although civil war ended in 2009 and the country is returning to a peaceful state, political killings and violence do still occur. This means that the youngest generation of Burundians are growing up in an insecure environment.
Further challenges include widespread poverty, HIV/AIDS and poor education.
Since 1985, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bujumbura.
Like in many other countries in Africa, the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to be a major challenge. Despite recent progress, only about 57% of all affected women receive HIV treatment.
When it comes to preventing transmission from mother to child, the figure is even lower: only 11% of HIV-positive pregnant women receive medical treatment.
There are also major deficits in education on how to prevent HIV infection. Many religious leaders in Burundi reject the use of contraceptives, which makes it much more difficult to combat transmission.
According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Burundi is one of the three least-developed countries in the world – 8 out of 10 Burundians live below the poverty line.
Although urban areas like Bujumbura tend to be better off than many of the rural regions, a lot of people, including children and young people, still live in poverty. Thousands of children live on the streets with no one looking after them and without protection.