Burundi: Playing Football to Bring Peace

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What happened

In June 2018, the team of MasterPeace Club in Burundi organized a series of games under the headline of a MasterPeace Cup. This is a series of games of capacity-building through football, engaging vulnerable youth groups from various areas of Burundi. The country suffers from a long history and present of tensions that have been mounting for months, leading to the recent civil protests and a failed military coup. However, this is nothing new since the end of the civil war in 2005, as underlying development problems have been progressively worsening without a clear path for resolution in sight.

The project by MasterPeace Burundi aims to give these vulnerable groups a new chance: playing together builds up self-confidence and gives skills of leadership and teamwork, which in turn leads to an open mindset and more perspective for the future. Many of these young people have never kicked a real football before. In addition to realizing their football dreams, this project creates an opportunity for socio-economic re-integration of vulnerable youth from different communities in Burundi.

After all, Africa is in love with football, and football is the most loved sport in Africa. All young people dream to become a professional footballer! Our Club of Burundi capitalises on this and uses sports as a tool to bring people together and build more peace in the process.

The benefit & impact

  • Give the targeted youth a safe space for meetings, dialogue and learning on peace-building through sports.
  • Strengthen and teach professional/vocational skills to the unemployed and school dropouts.
  • Raise the awareness of the recipients’ families to support their education.
  • Give a safe space to youngsters to express themselves and meet opposites in a fun and informative way.

Next Steps

  • Work with the 24 newly-formed teams that participate in the training programs.
  • Spread the tournament to other MasterPeace Clubs on the continent that are working among communities with similar dilemmas and challenges.
  • Train some of the youngsters to become the new trainers of the tournament.

See the report here:

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