May 15, 2013

Burundian Youth in Action

On Friday, 3rd May 2013, our first partner, Fontaine-Isoko for the Youth Engagement Programme organised the launching of YEP activities for 2013.

Participants included the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Fontaine Isoko legal representative and staff, SPARK country Manager and staff, Youth representatives, other NGOs and organisations working with youth and political parties.

With opening remarks and a welcome by Reginas Ndayiragije, Member of Fontaine Isoko, he started with a presentation of the agenda and then invited Christian Ngendahimana, the coordinator of the project “Jeunesse consciente et en action” to give a presentation on Fontaine Isoko’s planning for 2013.

Christian Ngendahimana provided an overview of the Youth Engagement Programme and continued with the specific case of Burundi explaining who will be the project beneficiaries, where it will be implemented and the expected results.  Stressing the importance of starting with grassroots communities, the Fontaine-Isoko approach for this project is mainly based on 3 levels:

Individual : Conscience

Community : Advocacy

National : Participation


With this project, Fontaine Isoko hopes to raise awareness that begins in local communities in order to reach a wide participation of youth and at the end of the year, bring all stakeholders together in organizing round tables to advocate for youth policies.


After the coordinator’s presentation, participants raised few questions on where and how the project will be implemented.  Following this, Christian answered questions on his presentation and invited people to contact him and/or Fontaine Isoko for more details on the programme.

The moderator invited the speakers to deliver their speeches.

Ms. Seconde Nyanzobe, Legal Representative of Fontaine Isoko addressed a welcome speech to the participants.  She explained in brief the potential of this project for the youth in Burundi and invited youth leaders to join forces and spread the word to make this project a success.  She ended her presentation by thanking the Minister of Youth for his presence at the opening ceremony and the support of SPARK in the whole process. She believes this project is one step that could change the life of many young people in Burundi.

Ms. Lynn Hicintuka, Spark’s Programme Officer and YEP Burundi Coordinator, delivered a message of support to Fontaine Isoko and to the youth involved in the programme.

Mr. Jolke Oppewal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi, gave a passionate speech about how important youth in Burundi is to move the country forward.

Mr. Alphonse Rukenkanya, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture addressed a speech of thanks to Fontaine Isoko for the invitation and SPARK for financing the project. He explained the main challenges faced by youth in Burundi: Limited quality of education and opportunities, unemployment, and so on. He believes it is a good time to start a project for youth and encouraged and ensured the support of the Ministry to all initiatives in favor of Youth.  He explained that the government of Burundi is now working on new laws and within the framework of this project recommandations/ propositions of law could come from youth. And also, they could contribute with the Ministry to improve the national youth policy.  He ended his speech by wishing success to this project and officially declared the launching of Youth Engagement Programme activities.