In Burundi, AVSI celebrated its 50th anniversary on 16 December 2022 in the Bujumbura Town Hall.
Among the distinguished guests present at these ceremonies were the Ambassador Delegate of the European Union in Burundi, Claude Bochu, as well as representatives of the Ministries AVSI partners with in its projects. This was an opportunity to present, in brief, the achievements at global and national levels.
In his opening speech, Riccardo Bevilacqua Lazise, AVSI Burundi Country Manager, first presented the key data showing the impact of AVSI's interventions worldwide. He then indicated that this organization has been present in Burundi since 2001, before adding that the first interventions were focused on the education sector, in an emergency context. These interventions are currently focused on nutrition, prevention of gender-based violence, vocational training job creation and renewable energy. The AVSI representative in Burundi specified that the choice of interventions is guided by the country's priorities and collaboration with local actors is especially favored. As an example of AVSI's achievements, he underlined that more than 49,000 improved stoves were manufactured and sold in 2022 to promote clean cooking.
During the ceremonies, presentations were made on interventions in the energy, women and youth empowerment sectors. During the presentations, it was shown among others that the energy sector interventions in Burundi promote improved stoves in a country where 90% of the population uses traditional three-stone stoves, with a negative impact on the environment and household finances.
Representatives of the beneficiaries of AVSI projects had the opportunity to testify about the contribution of the organization’s interventions in improving their living conditions. "I am very grateful to AVSI, which has enabled me to learn a trade and a savings and credit system, which has contributed to my financial empowerment," said one of the beneficiaries of an AVSI project supporting victims of gender-based violence.
The distinguished guests also praised the achievements of AVSI in Burundi.
I have already visited some of the projects implemented by AVSI and I can say that they have a real impact on the ground.Ambassador Delegate of the European Union in Burundi, Claude Bochu
On the fringes of these festivities, a mini-exhibition of the products of projects implemented by AVSI in Burundi was held. Traditional dances performed by girls supervised and supported by the Distance Support Program (SAD) enhanced the festivities.
In Burundi, AVSI's interventions are concentrated in the provinces of Bujumbura, Kayanza, Ngozi and Kirundi, where our offices are located to facilitate interventions with beneficiaries in the field. More projects are also being extended to the provinces of Gitega and Bubanza. In implementing its activities, AVSI works closely with 8 international NGOs and 10 local implementing partners.