For the IDP 2023, MasterPeace Burundi organized three main activities: a seminar, a football festival, and the distribution of school kilts to vulnerable children. The aim was to raise awareness about issues related to climate change, highlight the importance of empowering children and survivors of climate issues as agents of environmental protection, and fight for gender justice. The activities were implemented in partnership with important stakeholders, including the US Embassy, the University of Burundi, the Burundi Football Federation (FFB), and dozens of volunteers. The three activities mobilized 100 kids for the football festival, 88 participants for the COOLtalk, and provided school kits to 148 kids from a camp that displaced people.
1. Education 4 All Campaign: School kits distribution in Maramvya camp for climate displaced people (Saturday the 16th September 2023):
With the support of our local women’s savings and loan associations, we organized a school kit distribution for 148 kids from the Maramvya camp for climate-displaced people. The camp is home to more than 10,000 people, whose entire neighborhood was destroyed by torrential rains and high sea levels in 2019. They were relocated to the camp. Unfortunately, they live in abject poverty, relying on external aid that is never enough to satisfy their needs. An initiative to support 200 women’s economic resilience in the camp helped create jobs and other opportunities for the women’s families. To show how the economic initiatives are progressing, the women contributed money for the education of vulnerable children in the camp. The women’s contribution was matched by MasterPeace Burundi’s volunteers, making it easy to support as many children as possible. In total, 148 children from the camp were supported.
2. COOLtalk: “Nexus between Climate Change and Peace” (Thursday the 21st September, 2023):
We held a hybrid (online and in-person) seminar on the theme “Nexus between Climate Change and Peace” in collaboration with the US Embassy in Burundi through their American Spaces Initiative. The embassy provided us with a space and all the tools that were used for the seminar (laptop, internet). Members of the University of Burundi’s Environment Club were the main target audience of the talk. The objective was to share knowledge on why peace is closely related to climate change. The target audience was the student community at one of the University of Burundi’s campuses. Ninety-four people attended (66 in person, 28 online). Among those who attended online were people from diverse countries, including Malawi, South Africa, the DRC, the USA, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands, to name a few.
Our key speakers were Sneha Harsh from Harvard University, Sudipta Dawn from India, the main focal point for MasterPeace’s Cooleaders campaign, and Aart Bos, the global leader of MasterPeace. Specific examples prove this close linkage, including the never-ending resource-based herders-farmers conflicts in some West African countries (Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sudan, etc.), the recruitment of combatants by the Al Shabab terrorist group from settlements for survivors of droughts in Somalia, and the multiple resource-based conflicts between host communities and survivors of environmental destruction in countries like Burundi. The discussion also emphasized the role of everyone in preventing the effects of climate change and building a resilient and environment-friendly society for future generations.
3. Football Festival: Combining football and campaign for climate justice (Saturday the 30th of September, 2023):
In partnership with the Burundi Football Association, we organized a football festival with children from Kinama, an underprivileged sector in Bujumbura. This event was organized on the 30th of September from 09:00 to 11:00 a.m. The main goal was to give children the possibility to play football and also to raise their awareness about the protection of the environment, the cleanliness of their neighborhood, the better use of plastic bottles, and other related aspects. The Burundi Football Association gave us permission to use the football pitch in Kinama and provided us with balls, chasubles, whistles, and other related materials. They also sent three representatives, including Joslin Bipfubusa, a senior football trainer and former coach of the
national football team and of some of the biggest football teams in Burundi and the East African region.
MasterPeace Burundi mobilized among its volunteers and other partners 40 volunteer coaches and football educators who came to support the implementation of the activity. A heartbeat video was even done.