This World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, families and health workers are celebrating that child HIV rates dropped 60 percent between 2009 and 2015 in 21 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This is great news because it shows efforts are working, says Gloria Ekpo, World Vision’s HIV and AIDS specialist.
Why World Vision is in Burundi
2015 proved to be a violent and desperate year for Burundi. In April, President Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term, which sparked deadly protests and an attempted coup. Heightened ethnic tensions lie at the base of the violence, although to a lesser degree than in the 1990s, when more than 100,000 Hutus and Tutsis were killed in a civil war. Economic and humanitarian issues inflamed the discontent with President Nkurunziza. During 2015, the Global Hunger Index ranked Burundi as the world’s leading nation affected by hunger for the third year in a row. Increased malnutrition is blamed on political instability, high unemployment, and natural disasters. Attention to malnourished children, savings groups, and agricultural improvements for higher crop yields all serve to focus World Vision’s work in Burundi. Malnutrition is addressed by supporting families with growth monitoring for their children and nutrition education. Our savings groups empower members to build capital for basic daily needs. Agriculture trainings include demonstrations at thriving fields where farmers learn new techniques for growing healthier crops.
We never give up on people
World Vision child sponsorship looks at all the things that prevent children from surviving and thriving in their community, and then works with that community to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to build a better life for all children. For sponsors, it’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need in a life-changing way.
Progress in Burundi
Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families.
Child Protection and Care
Boys and girls are safe and valued, well cared for by their families, and participating in their communities as agents of transformation.
- We trained community volunteers to advocate with local authorities so that vulnerable children were able to receive birth registration. These documents give them access to healthcare, education, and child protection.
- World Vision improved food security and childhood nutrition by training farmers on improved techniques and providing seeds and livestock to families.
- Our new savings groups provided interest-earning savings accounts and small, affordable loans for people who didn’t have access to traditional banking services, empowering them to plan for the future, start businesses, and meet their children’s basic needs.
Healthy Children and Families
Children and families are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.
- We empowered communities to prevent and treat child malnutrition by identifying and rehabilitating at-risk children and by training community health workers on childhood nutrition so they could educate new parents.
- To improve access to safe water, we worked with local water committees to construct and rehabilitate more water springs.
Education for Better Lives
Children have opportunities to learn and to develop their talents, young people are equipped for the future, and families and communities support children's education.
- We provided vocational training in trades like sewing and hair styling, and taught courses in small business management to help young people secure jobs and contribute to family income.
- We conducted regular reading camps for kids as part of the Literacy Boost program. Literacy Boost teaches kids letters, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension.
Love of God and Neighbors
Children and families are growing spiritually, local churches are strengthened to demonstrate Christ's love in practical ways, and people are living at peace with their neighbors.
- Our local staff served children and families as a demonstration of God's unconditional love, seeking always to be faithful ambassadors of Jesus.
Prayer Requests from Burundi
World Vision's staff in Burundi are asking us to join them in prayer for the following:
Youth who are receiving vocational training to help them find a route out of poverty through starting small businesses.
Children to stay in school and increase their opportunities for the future.
News from Burundi
Our world is full of hurting families and nations torn apart by war and violence, and it can be difficult to know how to help those in need. Through prayer, we can “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Pray with us for conflict zones around the world.
In Burundi, a malaria outbreak is affecting more than 5 million people. Diomede, a volunteer health worker, provides diagnosis and treatment to vulnerable children.
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