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Burundi
Caritas Burundi

Caritas Burundi was founded by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi on 20 May 1962 and recognised on 20 July 1962. The organisation aims to be strong and dynamic, capable of helping to bring about a reunited society in which human dignity is paramount and the rights of everyone are respected especially the poorest, the most vulnerable, the excluded and the oppressed and to carry on advocating for environmental protection.

Thanks to its presence on the ground dating back more than 50 years, and with its 8 diocesan Caritas and 146 parish Caritas, the organisation has managed to carry out actions that reach the remotest areas of the country. Within this autonomous network, Caritas Burundi plays a coordinating role via the National Secretariat, on behalf of all its special partners, with a view to complementing their efforts and consolidating their resources.

This decentralised structure is enhanced by a large number of permanent institutions at local level – parishes, basic ecclesial communities, hospitals and authorised health centres, orphanages, centres for the disabled, parish charity committees, development committees – which enables keeping in touch with the people and adjustment of interventions on the ground.

Burundi’s economy is primarily based on agriculture. Therefore, many agricultural projects are in place. Those regarding the social and economic reintegration of repatriates include the Agricultural Services Sector Project (PASA) funded by the French Embassy, and the DRABIAF project (farm income diversification) funded by Trócaire (Caritas Ireland). Reception of repatriates and assistance to Congolese refugees is conducted under a tripartite agreement between Caritas Burundi, UNHCR and WFP, while the fight against malnutrition in the eastern provinces (Canzuko and Ruyigi) is carried out by a consortium with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the International Medical Corps (IMC) as part of the Tubaramure project.

Together with the Global Fund, Caritas Burundi is engaged in the fight against malaria and is responsible for the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and raising awareness on this issue throughout the country. The GAVI programme funds the fight against diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Caritas also helps poor families in the event of land ownership disputes. This work is carried out in partnership with the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace Commission (Isange project).

Another important element of Caritas Burundi’s action is helping to deal with the effects of AIDS. Caritas supports people affected by AIDS through psycho-social counselling. A PTMC (Prevention of Transmission from Mother to Child) programme is implemented in 11 hospitals, 2 maternity wards and 87 health centres of the Catholic Church of Burundi. This project is funded by Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands).

Caritas Burundi works in partnership with the following organisations: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, UNHCR, FAO, WFP, UNICEF, GAVI, the World Bank (PRODEMA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Caritas Belgium, Caritas Netherlands (Cordaid), Trócaire (Caritas Ireland), Caritas Austria, Caritas Italy, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and the Fight Against AIDS, the French Embassy and USAID.

Caritas Updates from Burundi