Sandrine is 16 years old and lives in the province of Rutana in Burundi. She has seven siblings and studies in the fifth form at her local school. 

 

Tragically, for much of her life Sandrine has endured constant threats and regularly feared for her life. This is because, along with two other siblings, she is Albino. The threats were so serious that in 2018 Sandrine’s mother had her move in to a protected community in the parish of Giharo. She lived with 15 other Albino children in this safe environment. 

 

Customs and fetishes concerning Albino people, particularly children, exist in some communities. Sometimes children are even murdered so that parts of their bodies can be taken. 

 

Sandrine’s life changed when the ‘Peace through Empowerment’ project began. The project provided training in children’s rights and challenged people’s superstitions, promoting peaceful living for all within the community. 

She said:

When the project ‘Peace through Empowerment’ started, I was selected to be an Agent for Change in the community where I was born. We have been trained in children’s rights and how we can help to spread human rights values among our peers and even with adults within the community.  

Personally, after the training, I felt an inner change in my life. I felt fully human, deserving the same rights and protection as anyone else. Thanks to the knowledge and skills developed through Cord’s project, I now have responsibility in the parish of Giharo. I help to train young people in social skills and how they should behave to avoid anything that could harm everyone living peacefully in our community. On every occasion, I advocate for the rights of all children and especially Albino children.

I now feel safe and happy … [and we] albino children can express our worries.   Thank you!