BFI and FUCOS Complete “Davis Project for Peace”
The “Davis Project for Peace” was a collaboration between Burundi Friends International and FUCOS with the goal of planting seeds towards sustainable peace through training 50 youth community members in each Peace and Reconciliation Workshop in provinces throughout Burundi.
Training was offered in 4 Provinces: Gitega, Bubanza, Bururi, and Bujumbura. 200 youth trainees attended the workshops designed to bring hope to communities and to empower youth to find their role in peacebuilding efforts, despite Burundi’s history of conflict in the past and over this last year. In a country where youth are often used to promote violence, attendees at the Davis Project for Peace were trained in peaceful conflict resolution skills and techniques.
The 200 Burundian attendees have committed to serving as peace and reconciliation ambassadors to their peers and communities. These youth leaders plan to conduct future public conferences and other activities relating to peacebuilding. With their support, we hope to pass on additional peace and reconciliation workshops to 20,000 people, targeting youth and the roles they can play, throughout Burundi.
One of the greatest successes of the Davis Project for Peace project was Burundians taking ownership for the project at every stage. Communications, collaboration, and partnership between BFI and FUCOS went extremely well, and we look forward to continuing collaborations in the future. Administration and volunteers worked closely together during the execution of the project, thus empowering youth to play key roles in project development and implementation.
True to development work, there were many challenges to overcome; true to Burundian’s dedication to meeting challenges, all obstacles were worked through with great teamwork and support. Funding for the project was supported by BFI and FUCOS and a grant through International House (New York) “Davis Projects for Peace” program. The grant was successfully developed, written and remotely project managed by Ashleigh Montgomery, with immeasurable support in writing by Dan Shawler and many volunteers.
Fabrice Bizimana drew upon his experience in the “Mandela Washington Fellowship,” continuing education and personal experience to develop the content and the key themes presented in the workshops.
Karorero Xavier (BFI English Club In-Country President) – and Innocent Niyongabo, (BFI English Club Vice President) showed incredible leadership and inspiration. They continue to help youth in Burundi to see the role and power they have to be peacebuilders.
BFI is thankful for the help and support of our partner at FUCOS, Leonard Ngendakumana, who led the project throughout. Leonard made countless trips to Burundian banks to get funds transferred, and contributed on all aspects of the project including:
- Workshop Design
- Implementation at the 4 Provincial Sites
- Mentoring our BFI Youth Leaders
Leonard provided key communications and reporting throughout the process. This project would not have been possible without his leadership and commitment, and we are excited to have Leonard as a leadership mentor for our BFI youth in Burundi!