On Thursday 8 March, on the occasion of World Women's Day, the EU delegation in Burundi visited the EU funded project "Dukinge Twongere Dubatare!" (Preventing and assisting victims of gender-based violence) implemented by AVSI in collaboration with three local associations.
The project goal is to take care of women victims of violence from three provinces in the north of the country (Cibitoke, Kayanza and Kirundo) and offer them help to start a new life.
The project combines the skills of the partners involved: AVSI coordinates the project and awareness activities; AFEV (Action en Faveur des Enfants Vulnérables) offers listening and temporary lodging services, AFJB (Association des Femmes Juristes du Burundi) provides victims with legal assistance and CEJP (Commission Épiscopal Justice et Paix), through parish listening centers, deals with psycho-social and health assistance and with the reintegration of young women into their own family context.
"The project has a three-year duration - explained Ernest Kamwenubusa, project manager - and in 2017, the first year of activity, we could help 2005 women. Moreover, we believe that preventing gender-based violence is fundamental, so we are carrying out awareness-raising activities in 88 schools in 22 municipalities "
Prevention activities also involved school teachers with training courses on this issue and the creation of "stop GBV" school groups, where girls and boys discuss about gender violence and take both individual and collective commitments to change behaviors that may favor - or hide - abuse and violence.
For Xavier Pavard, head of the cooperation section of the EU delegation in Burundi, "women lawyers play a fundamental role in the fight against gender-based violence: women who take care of other women. I am full of admiration for projects like this: a lot of courage is needed to denounce and return to be the protagonist of one’s own life ".
“Xavier Pavard confirms that the EU is proud to support integrated projects like this - stated the local weekly Burundi Eco - because working in a consortium allows a fruitful exchange of experiences to provide an adequate response to the victims of gender violence. This project shows that African woman are not only victims, but also a key for development"..
To know more (in french):
- Le consortium AVSI-AFEV-CEJP et AFJB au secours des victimes des violences basées sur le genre, sous l’appui de l’UE - Burundi Eco
- Un centre d'accueil pour femmes victimes de violences financé par l'UE au Burundi - European External Action Service (EEAS)