Burundi: preventing the resurgence of violence

by Terre des hommes | Terre des hommes (Tdh) - Switzerland
Tuesday, 8 April 2014 14:28 GMT


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Burundi: preventing the resurgence of violence

In the central prison in Bujumbura (Burundi: http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/burundi) that holds several hundred detainees, a programme for the prevention of violence is being put in place by Terre des hommes (Tdh). The factors that cause violence to recur are identified and various activities are offered to young detainees to help them cast off their violent behaviour.

When a child is confronted with the legal system it has a strong impact on his existence: the lack of a protective framework, the harshness of the police system and the extremely hard living conditions in prison are difficult trials for a child to go through and constitute a major risk factor for his future. To better understand what measures can be taken to protect the children from their own violence, which is often only the resurfacing of the violence that they themselves have suffered throughout their lives, the Tdh delegation in Burundi has set up this pilot project in the central prison in Bujumbura.

Re-learning to live without violence

Twice a week the young people are invited to take part in awareness activities, designed by Tdh specifically for this type of context, allowing them to consider the consequences of violence. Through workshops in physical and artistic expression, theatre classes or sport sessions, these young people acquire the basics they need for a life without violence. For example, they learn to identify their emotions and other people’s, to manage their impulsiveness, to develop their capacity for empathy and to communicate with respect. The reasoning behind these measures is to teach the young people that alternatives to violent behaviour exist and can have positive effects both on them and on their environment.

The working methodology applied in the Bujumbura prison will be used in other projects and will help other types of Tdh beneficiaries such as vulnerable children and their communities.

Terre des hommes brings positive change to the daily lives of more than two million children and their families every year. Learn more about our projects in Burundi (http://www.tdh.ch/en/countries/burundi).