#connectBurundi: let’s get it started!

I am travelling to Burundi for 34 days to apply  ICT to a project  raising awareness about gender violence and caring for its victims, along with the CCM (MedicalCollaboration Committee) NGO  from Turin. We are departing, amahoro to all of you.

[By Serena Carta, from ICT4dev]

They say that Burundi is an enchanted and tormented country. For one, the hospitality and kindness of its people find its roots on the shores of the great Lake Tanganyika where its green hills remind me of Monferrato’s and Switzerland’s  to others. On the other hand, the history of Burundi accounts for a close past of war and destruction (1993-2005 civil war) and a very turbulent present (President Pierre Nkurunziza ready to push his third, unconstitutional, mandate).

The “heart of Africa” is slightly less than 28 thousand km ² large. In Inkirundi (the local language), the word amahoro means peace and is used as a greeting. Forced to reckon with numbers and indices, Burundi  ranks among the poorest in the world, according to the global hunger Index, developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute. In fact, Burundi ranks first among countries with  alarming levels of hunger.

We will be travelling to Bujumbura, the country capital,  in a few hours. We – that is to say me and Fabrizio Furchì – are sent by the  ONG 2.0 to work together with folks from CCM and the Seruka Center for the incoming 34 days. Both CCM and the Seruka Center have worked in these setting for many years, mainly in the fields of awareness and information about gender-based violence in local communities, and  caring for the victims through the provision of health, legal and social services.

The goal of our journey is to support the Seruka staff in creating a website featuring stories and activities, and launching an online participatory mapping process (modeled after Harassmap), to stimulate the circulation of information on the phenomenon of violence.

We are armed with PCs, phones, camera, Moleskine, pens, articles, reports, and above all stories and suggestions that, in recent months, so many people shared with us. We want to say a big thank you to: Iside Baldini, who  led to the CCM research on gender-based violence in Burundi; Paolo Brunello, ICT4D expert and great connoisseur of the country;Viviana Brun and the CISV NGO staff that started its activities from Burundi back in 1973.

We are ready! Follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vps. Search the #connectBurundi.




Advice realized within “Projet pilote de décentralisation des services de prise en charge des violences sexuelles dans 3 provinces du Burundi” (ref. BU _ UE /2014/ CNP/07) developed by ong CCM – Comitato Collaborazione Medica thanks to the aid of the European Union.