Educational Assistance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
1375 vulnerable children in Burundi received school kits from SYM thanks to your support
Burundi is a small, land-locked country with a population of 12 million people. It is the fourth poorest country in the world. The quality of life is low, and people living there face a short life expectancy. With inadequate healthcare, people living in Burundi are susceptible to easily curable diseases, but without medical attention, they are life-threatening.
A lack of adequate healthcare is directly impacting families and children. One of the biggest threats to families is HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, those living with HIV are still not receiving life-saving medication, leading to a rise in orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC).
UNICEF estimated there were almost 1 million OVC in Burundi at the end of 2019. These children have an increased risk of neglect and abuse. These children are vulnerable to malnutrition, poverty, illness and discrimination, dropping out of school, and, as they get older, are more susceptible to HIV infection.
Jesuit Missions UK and Canadian Jesuits International are supporting a two-year project with our Jesuit partners, Service Yezu Mwiza (SYM) in Burundi. The project aims to improve the living conditions of 3000 orphans and vulnerable children through educational assistance, food security and psychosocial support.
As the 2021-2022 school year approaches, SYM equipped 1375 students with school kits. Each kit contained a uniform, notebooks, pens and maths equipment. Moreover, SYM is paying the school fees of more than 300 students so they too can access the education of their peers.
Fr Vedaste SJ from SYM said, “One could see a light of hope for parents who were desperate and not able to supply the necessary school materials to their children. God bless all those who contributed funding of the activity and those who did all they could to make it happen.”
We are grateful to Fr Vedaste SJ and his team for continuing to support the education of OVC. We are also thankful to our donors for enabling us in supporting this essential work.