Mandela Day commemoration in Kamenge Youth Centre

18 July 2014

Partial View of participants

UNIC Bujumbura co-organized with UNDP, UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) and the South African Embassy a debate with the youth on Mandela legacy, followed by the screening of the film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” on 18 July 2014, at Kamenge Youth Centre, suburb of Bujumbura city. Around 300 young people participated in the event. UNIC NIO issued a press release on the commemoration, invited the media for coverage and mobilized the UN Staff to attend the event.

On behalf of the UN System in Burundi, the Special Representative of the Secretary General , Parfait Onanga-Anyanga was the panellist, together with the Chargé d’Affaires of the South African Embassy in Burundi, a Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Kamenge Youth Centre.

The Diplomatic corps was represented by a couple of Ambassadors who participated in the discussions with the Youth. The young people asked many questions the panellists, trying to know how Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as he fought for justice, democracy and equality.

The young people were particularly interested in the Mandela story as the latter is the one who helped to bring peace and reconciliation between Burundians, as he led the Arusha peace negotiations for Burundi which led the country to signature of the so called Arusha Peace Accord for Burundi.

After the panels discussions came the time to screen the film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. This is a 2013 British-South African biographical film based on the 1995 autobiographical book Long Walk to Freedom by anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela. The film chronicles Mandela early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.

Around 300 young people participated in the event. UNIC NIO issued a press release on the commemoration, invited the media for coverage and mobilized the UN Staff to attend the event.

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UNIC Bujumbura and the National Army Commemorate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

29 May 2014

Students at the event

To commemorate the International Day of Peacekeepers, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Bujumbura co-organized with the Ministry of National Defence, a two-day visit to secondary schools to sensitize students on the role of the UN and the Government of Burundi in peacekeeping, from 28 to 29 May 2014 in Gitega province, centre of Burundi.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense travelled with the UNIC National Information Officer (NIO) and made a two day tour to secondary schools, where they held briefings and screened videos on the UN and the African Union peacekeeping missions.

Around 2,000 students attended the events. The NIO made a presentation on the UN and Peacekeeping, focusing on the Organization’s creation, objectives, achievements, - specifically in the field of International peace and security, and continued with the screening of two short documentaries, “Au nom de la paix” or “In the name of peace” and “Women in the Peacekeeping”.

 After watching the films, the students expressed their viewpoints and appreciation for the work done by the UN in bringing and maintaining peace in the world, and further commending the role that the Organization played in bringing peace to Burundi. Some students however expressed their hope that the UN would be able to prevent more conflicts so that there would be no more wars in the world.

Colonel Baratuza who used to be a peacekeeper with the Mission in Somalia, gave a presentation and screened a documentary on the Mission, and elaborated on the role of Burundi in peacekeeping missions as a troop contributor.

The students, who were very interested in the topic, appreciated the visit and all the information shared with them. UNIC seized the opportunity to donate to the schools some UN publications which were put in the school Libraries.

Commemorating Victims of the Holocaust in Burundi

27 January 2014

Six hundred students from three main secondary schools of Bujumbura participated in a series of educational activities in commemoration of the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, organized and hosted by UNIC Bujumbura from 27 to 29 January 2014. 

The programme included welcome notes and introductory remarks on the above Day by the UNIC National Information Officer (NIO), a guided visit of the photo exhibition titled, “The Shoah in Europe” with explanations of the content by the History teachers from the participating schools, the introduction and screening of the film, “The path to Nazi Genocide”, followed by discussions and question& answer sessions between the students, the UNIC NIO and the History teachers. 

The NIO headed the three-day programme, presented the UN Secretary-General’s message on the Day to each group, and conducted the discussions with the students. 

Taking into account the regional context with the Rwanda Genocide, the discussions were focused on the role of the youth in the prevention of conflicts, and recommendations were made on how the new generation should be vigilant and never support bad ideologies which can lead to genocide. 

All the participating schools appreciated the UNIC initiative to provide leadership and human rights education to their students. They also appreciated the constant partnership of the UNIC and noted the added value of the educational programme on the Holocaust.

Nelson Mandela International Day in Burundi

18 July 2013

To commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day, the UN System in Burundi coordinated with the South African Embassy in Burundi to co-organized voluntary activities of cleaning and painting in a manual trades Centre in Gasenyi quarter, Bujumbura, 18 July. The participants worked for two hours to in an effort to follow the Mandela example which consists of inspiring individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so, building a global movement for good.

Humanitarian Action against Delinquency (AHD) is the Centre which was identified by the UN and the South Africa Embassy to host the Mandela Day ceremonies. It’s training Centre receives street children and other vulnerable youth for training in different manual trades: Mechanical, plumbing, wiring, carpentry and masonry. The youth trained in this Centre become trainers and are given means to start up their own business and mount small enterprises. 

Around a hundred people composed of UN, South African Embassy personnel and the national Volunteers Association members, worked with their hands, painting and cleaning the compound and walls to improve the Centre’s working conditions. A metallic Statue of Mandela was handily made by the young trainees, and art drawings were on the walls of the compound. The participants put painted hands around the Mandela Statue.

A birthday cake with ninety five candles representative of Mandela’s age was shared among the participants. A hot meal was also shared with everybody in a sign of solidarity.

AHD was created in 2008 and receives around 400 new candidates each year. It has representations all over the country.

UNIC Bujumbura co-organized the event on behalf of the UN System in Burundi. Media coverage of the event was impressive.