Cibitoke is located in the north-west of Burundi and was hit the hardest by the violent civil war. The region was marked by large numbers of victims, streams of refugees and internally displaced people, most of whom are extremely poor to this day.
The situation of children and young people in the region is particularly tough: less than 70% of all children live with both of their parents and almost 10% of children have lost parental care entirely. This leaves children vulnerable to poverty and often without access to health and educational services.
Since 2009, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Cibitoke.
In light of ongoing political tensions and extreme poverty, many children in the region of Cibitoke live without any parental care. They are largely left to fend for themselves and therefore, they often cannot go to school. Even in cases where their parents are still around, the difficult economic situation often requires the children to contribute to the family income. This also discourages children from pursuing education and reduces their future prospects. Only about 13% of the children in the region go to school.
The civil war and political conflict were particularly intense in the Cibitoke region. This has led to the disintegration of important infrastructure such as schools and health centres and widespread internal displacement.
There are still over 100 settlements in the region and people generally do not own the land they have been relocated to. They are often affected by extreme poverty - the poverty rate in Burundi is around 80%. This in turn leads to other problems, such as malnutrition, especially in the face of fluctuating food prices.