One of the world’s poorest countries 

70% of Burundi’s population live in extreme poverty. Life expectancy is only 50 years. The lack of food means that malnutrition levels are high and 52% of under 5’s are stunted. Most people struggle to access healthcare, education or even clean water.  

Violence and war 

Conflict dominates Burundi’s history. The brutal civil war (1993 – 2005) saw 300,000 people killed and hundreds of thousands escape to neighbouring countries. Another conflict broke out again in 2015 when 120,000 were murdered and 400,000 fled the nation. 

Division and trauma 

Because Burundi’s violent history hasn’t been dealt with in a positive way, divisions in society increase. Hurt and pain result in prejudice and psychological wounds, which are passed from one generation to another. Returning refugees who left the country during the fighting find it very difficult to settle back into their communities. Local disputes can often become violent. Young people are regularly lured into extreme and dangerous political groups. People live with incredible trauma. Gender based violence and domestic abuse is widespread. 

Hope and healing 

Cord is working for a peaceful future in Burundi. We’re helping returning refugees and their communities. We’re supporting young people, women and other vulnerable groups in practical ways. We’re helping them to set up businesses, access training and develop leadership skills. We’re also enabling communities to deal with the pain of the past. By helping them respect different experiences and points of view we can build trust and understanding.  

Mental health and wellbeing 

We’re also treating psychological trauma, which is essential for Burundi’s future peace. Over half the population suffer from mental health problems like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. There is huge stigma and prejudice around these issues. Through community workshops, training and professional support, we’re raising awareness and making sure that the most vulnerable get the help they need. 

Make a donation to support Cord's work in Burundi here