Girineza

Girineza is the smallest NGO in the world: just 7 children ! But 7 children who will change the world !

Small works great and small can make things move at roots level. When things move there, they can move all the way up to where big decisions are taken. Also, small is easy to understand, to handle and to make happen.

Since 2011 Girineza supports street children in Bujumbura, Burundi, East Africa. We support on the long term children who for different reasons ended up in the street, and bring them back to the life of a child, which includes school, health care, psychological support, entertainement and love.

Panel 1

About

Since 2011, Girineza supports a group of Burundian street children.

We managed to provide our children with ID cards (most of them weren’t even registered at the civil registry), pay the registration fees, insurances, uniforms, pens and notebooks for their school, accompany them in their day-to-day life (homework, activities, sports, counselling), give them health support, help their families with different income generating activities (a restaurant, a crop field and a small pig farm) and support our socio-cultural animator through his university studies in social psychology.

It has only been 5 years since the creation of Girineza but we’ve come a long way !

Our blog’s main aim is to get new friends. Friends who may want to share an idea with us, send a feed-back, talk about similar experiences (or completely different ones!), send a post, share a photo, a video that for some reason makes you think about us, or that will maybe just entertains our kids, sign up to be a follower or a donor…

We are small but super dynamic and efficient. Come visit us !

 

 

 

 

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Our story

In 2011 a Burundian social-cultural animator, a French humanitarian worker and an Italian photographer worked together on a project on child labour in the displaced peoples camp of Sabe, in Bujumbura, Burundi (East Africa).

Working closely with Joseph, Audrick, Nowa, Emelyne, Jadine and Tama – who were between 6 and 15 years old at the time and were making bricks in the factory near the camp, they decided together to create the smallest organisation in the world to help these children move forward in their lives. So Girineza was created!

Here a video shot at the beginning of the project, with interviews of our children who at the time were all still working in the brick factory near Sabe’s displaced peoples camp:

Today our children are among the best of the school. Despite the political crisis that has hit Burundi since April 2015, Girineza continues its activities and remains one of the most dynamic initiatives of the community of Buterere in Bujumbura. We are small but stubborn .. and it works !

 

 

Panel 3

Our children

EMELYNE

Emelyne_p                                                                                         Emelyne is 12. Before Girineza she was begging in the streets or making briks in the factory, in order to help her family find the money to buy food in the evening. If she had no money sometimes she would sleep outdoors. One day she walked by an activity Fabrice was doing with the children of the neighborhood on the rights to go to school and at the end of the activity she asked Fabrice to go talk to her parents. Emelyne is today a good primary student (strong in Mathematics). She is kind and hard worker. She often shares her story with the other children of the community. When she grows up, she would like to become a teacher.

 

JOSEPH

Joseph_p

Joseph is 13.He never met his father, who left before he was born, and he was brought up by an alcoholic mother. At 5 he used to go beg in town with his mother and sometimes she would leave him at the brick factory for the day. Fabrice met him there and told him to join his sports activities. Joseph started coming and was so curious and motivated that was quickly integrated in Girineza. Joseph today lives with Fabrice as his mother sold their house and went to live far away. He is brilliant at school, always among the first three of his class at the end of the year.When he grows up he says he wants to become a construction engineer.

 

 

AUDRICK

Audrick_p

                                                                                           Audrick is 13. He is orphan of father. His mother is a farmer. When Fabrice met him he was living int he displaced peoples camp of Sabe with his family and was working with Joseph at the brick factory, not going to school. He is now among the first 10 students of his class and likes playing football. He is one of the first children who joiend Girineza, together with Joseph, his inseparable friend.

When he grows up, he says he wants to become a Minister.

 

 

 

JADINE

Jadine_p                                                                                              Jadine, is 10. She is Emelyne’s young sister. She used to help her sister carry the briks on her head up the big ladder leading at the top of the oven to dry the bricks. She used to carry ine brick at the time, many many times per day. Fabrice went to talk to her family, which at the beginning refused to put Jadine to school but finally accepted. She is a shy and respectful girl and is doing great efforts in school. She likes running.

When she grows up she wants to become a doctor.

 

 

 

NOWA

Nowa_p                                                                                                Nowa is 18 and he is the oldest child of Girineza. At 13 his mother died and he stopped going to school in order to help his father. He would go look for old pieces of metal and sell them in the neighborhood. He would also go pick up mangos for his siblings and would always bring hom a bag full of them at the end of the day. Sometimes he would go play football with the other kids of the neighborhood and there, one day, he met Fabrice. Today Nowa is in Primary 7 and is an excellent student, always among the first two of his year. He often gives advise to the younger children. He would like to become a driver for big trucks.

 

 

DISHON

Dishon_p                                                                                          Dishon is 8. He was living like the others in the the displaced peoples camp of Sabe and his mother, Mama Dishon, was helping at the beginning of Girineza with the logistics, making sure the children would leave the camp and go to school. At one point, after a dispute with her husband, she had serious economic problems and asked Girineza if we could help her sending her son to school. So we did. He is a very good student, among the first 5 of his year.

When he grows up, he wants to become a doctor.

 

 

 

TAMA

Tama 2_p                                                                                            Tama is 8. He was born deaf. When Fabrice met him, he was living in the displaced peoples camp f Sabe. Although he tried to play with the others the other children would laugh at him. His parents wanted him to go to school but didn’t know where to send him. One day, while we were visiting his family he showed us a book and started to show us all the stories on those pages and tried to write something on a notebook. So we went and looked for a school for deaf children.  Today he has learned sign language and his parents also go to school every week to learn how to talk with him. They now communicate very well now ! Tama likes drawing and playing football…

 

 

 

 

All the photos on this page have been taken by Landry Nshimiye in June 2016 in Bujumbura, Burundi