Muyinga is a city of about 130,000 inhabitants located in the north of Burundi at an altitude of over 1,700 metres above sea level. As in most other areas of the country, families in Muyinga are affected by a widespread lack of regular income and poverty. Many people, including children and young people who are often without parental care, cannot afford enough food and shelter. Due to Muyinga's high altitude, the nights can get incredibly cold. Combined with the frequent rainfall, this puts children in the region at particular risk of falling ill.
Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Muyinga.
The constantly changing weather conditions in Muyinga Province are causing great hardship for the local population. Heavy rains and the resulting floods are not cause crop failures and widespread malnutrition. In addition to destroying people’s livelihoods, many homes are washed away by flooding. Many people, including children and young people, are therefore without shelter.
When people do have shelter, it is often without access to clean drinking water, sanitation or electricity. In fact, only 2% of rural households around Muyinga have electricity.
To this day, Burundi remains one of the poorest countries in the world, and the Muyinga Province is no exception.
Around 80% of Burundians live in extreme poverty, and in rural areas, like Muyinga, this number is estimated to be even higher. Since people largely depend on agriculture, extreme weather conditions often lead to a lack of steady income. This means that many families cannot afford to feed their children properly, let alone provide them with an education.