May 25th we celebrated the Africa Day in commemoration of the formation of the OAU in 1963. As Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora celebrated the coming together of African nations under one common agenda the strides that Africa has taken through the OAU and later the AU stand to be lauded. Of course whether or not the AU as we know it today is effective in many matters is a contentious issue. NAYD recognizes the efforts of the AU and acknowledges how far Africa will go down the road to Sustainable Development with a proactive AU. Further NAYD wishes to recognize the efforts of community based organizations and not-for-profits working at the grass root level and engaging the community members directly in an effort to address the challenges at hand and also move Africa to a self sustaining continent. As such this month NAYD is highlighting an NGO based in Burundi; ICIRORE C’AMAHORO.
ICIRORE C’AMAHORO is an NGO based in Ngozi province North of Burundi. It aims at reaching the general population through the youth, who it considers as able leaders. The main mission is to promote political and economic development via the focus points of Human Rights and Health in society. It seeks to ensure the welfare of Burundians through Sexual and Reproductive Health especially with a focus on HIV/AIDS and defending and protecting Human Rights.
Perhaps to better understand ICIRORE C’AMAHORO and its work it is better to understand Burundi in terms of its history. Burundi gained its independence in the year 1962. It has been girded by ethnic conflicts especially in 1972 and 1993 which caused many people to flee the country into neighbouring countries. However, the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in 2000 led to a transitional government being formed between 2001 and 2005. Like any country emerging from a period of war and instability the aftermath of these conflicts left bare wounds on Burundians. It is in an effort to pull people together that ICIRORE C’AMAHORO, which means mirror of peace in Kirundi, was formed. It provides people with different ethnic, social, religious and regional inclinations a platform to engage and live together in harmony.
One of its major areas of focus is Human Rights where it has been promoting human rights for all since the year 2007. Specifically it has successfully managed to reconcile warring ethnic groups by training leaders on how to manage conflicts and empowering them through legal issues. This has especially helped the young people who bear the effects of conflict.
In health it focuses on HIV/AIDS among on the youth and also integrating Sexual and Reproductive Health into mainstream educational institutions. Probably one of its main reasons for success is the fact that it does not employ monopoly in its work, on the contrary it encourages the cooperation of different parties who are involved in community activities like grass root organizations, international organizations, policy makers and political leaders.
Get in touch with ICIRORE here http://www.icirore-camahoro.org/