Our project

OUR MISSION

Football Helps uses the integrative

and motivating power of football

to teach children and young people important values in a playful way.

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What we do

The Football Helps uses the integrative and motivating power of football to teach children and young people important values in a playful way. Encounters on and off the pitch can build trust and reduce prejudice between children with different ethnic self-identification.

Our concept

Our concept is based on a point system, which builds on the following pillars …

Football tournaments

“Football Helps” offers free five-month football tournaments for children and young people between the ages of 8 and 15, with age limits as a guide rather than a selection criterion. Local teams, but also individual players can register for the tournaments. 15 to 17-year-olds can play in a Football Helps selection team in a youth league. The rush is huge. At the moment 16 teams in Bujumbura and 12 in Kabezi (approximately 650 children and young people) regularly take part in the tournaments.

social work and education leads to victory

All activities in which young people participate are integrated into the points system. The participants receive points for football matches, but also for participation in charitable activities and educational workshops. The tournament winner therefore results not only from performance in sport, but also from social engagement.

Cooperation with local partner organizations

Through cooperation with local partner organisations, the charitable activities are meaningfully coordinated and have a long-term and sustainable effect.

At the same time, these activities sensitize the general public to areas such as environmental protection, hygiene, children’s rights and much more.

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Averrage age in Burundi
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Our work thereby promotes…

Acceptance and tolerance

Fairness

Friendship

Peace and non-violence

Helpfulness

Conflict ability

Gender equality

Self-determination

Target area Burundi

THE INITIAL SITUATION

Historical background

Burundi is marked by a decades-long ethnopolitical conflict between Hutu and Tutsi, which led to a civil war in the 1990s. Historically, it is not possible to determine with certainty whether the division within the population arose on a functional basis (upper class and working class) or on an ethnic basis (ethnic groups) and how far it actually receded. The fact is that the complex colonial past has produced enormous inequalities. Ethnic self-identification is widespread within the population. People do not identify themselves as Burundians, but still as Hutu and Tutsi or Twa. In the same way, political positions and historical events are evaluated against the background of ethnic affiliations, which has led to conflicts both in the past and currently. 

Our project

Geographical position

The Republic of Burundi lies between East and Central Africa in the Great Lakes region (Lake Tanganyika) and with its 27,834 km2 (of which 1,867 km2 is water) is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Compared to Austria, Burundi is somewhat smaller than Lower and Upper Austria combined. Burundi borders the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Rwanda to the north and Tanzania to the south-east.
Gitega is the capital and has about one million inhabitants. Burundi has more than eleven million inhabitants nationwide.

The population

  • The population is ethnically divided into Hutu (about 85%), Tutsi (about 15%) and Twa (about 2%).
  • The official languages are Kirundi and French.
  • The average age of the population is 17.3 years.
  • 45,3% of the population is under 14 years of age.
  • 81% of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • The population growth of over 3% clearly exceeds the economic growth.
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Facts and figures

According to the World Bank, Burundi was one of the poorest countries in the world in 2017 with a GDP per capita of $280.

The UN Human Development Report 2018 confirms this and lists Burundi in the category of low human development countries, 185 out of 189.

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also currently ranks Burundi among the Least Developed Countries.

Children and youth in Burundi

Compliance with international children’s rights is not guaranteed, as there is not yet sufficient awareness of this in society. Although corporal punishment has already been banned by the government in public schools, corporal punishment is still widespread in the family.
Due to the high birth rate, many children have no access to education and have to contribute to the family income at a young age. Measured against the total population, 31.6% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 work. The classic role distribution, with boys looking for work while girls help with the household and raising children, is a Burundian reality.

Children and young people in Burundi are a particularly vulnerable target group. They are the most vulnerable and particularly in need of protection. For healthy development, children need a safe environment in which their childhood needs – regular sleep-wake rhythm, food and drink, personal hygiene, health care, security, social community, appreciation, exercise, learning impulses, education – are met. Active play is the main learning method and the main activity of the child. Through physical experiences, children strengthen their self-esteem and learn to know their limits, to express their feelings, but also the social interaction with other people.

Children’s needs

"Lots of little people, in a lot of little places,

who do a lot of little things,

can change the face of this world."

African proverb

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