Jean-Marie Vianney Kavumbagu

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The supervision of youth, a challenge for future generations

From 24 August to 8 September 2004, young people from the IRIBA, CADP and ITEKA League associations organized a youth forum at the Mweya high school in Gitega province to contribute to the reconstruction effort.

Initially, the Forum was to bring together young people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and the North Atlantic, specifically the Kingdom of Belgium.

But, following the poor security conditions resulting mainly from the massacre perpetrated against the Congolese Banyamulenge refugees in Gatumba, Mutimbuzi commune, Bujumbura province, on the night of 13 to 14 August 2004, the young people of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo unfortunately could not attend this camp

The ITEKA League particularly appreciated the effort made by the young people of Iriba, especially by paying their travel expenses to Burundi and especially by agreeing to associate and live with their friends in Burundi for two weeks, in a country characterized by multiple violations of human rights.

For the ITEKA League, this youth initiative reflects a spirit of openness, mutual assistance, solidarity and self-sacrifice for reconstruction, development and cooperation.  In addition, the initiative served as an example to those who still stir up hatred and violence, two of many factors that keep Great Lakes countries in misery, poverty and pain.

Ligue ITEKA was all the more comforted because it placed in its priorities the supervision of youth to human rights, a youth that is the hope of tomorrow and who will be able to transcend the sectarian interests observable today. within the political class. Thus, school clubs for human rights, whose leaders were among the participants, were created in various secondary schools in the country where students are introduced to the philosophy of human rights and national instruments and international human rights protections. Some clubs even commemorate, on December 10 of each year, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through cultural activities to strengthen the culture of human rights in people's minds.

The Mweya Forum thus met the goal of the ITEKA Youth Leadership League because of its symbolic value:

The young people were rebuilding a school when the lost sheep of their age, enlisted in the rebel movements, the militias and the army, destroy the socio-economic infrastructures;

They deepened their knowledge through lectures and exchanges on certain realities related to human rights while a certain youth sinks into delinquency, alcoholism and narcotics;

They laid the foundation for a North-South forum between young Europeans and Africans as instability, civil wars and violence increasingly isolate Africa in the concert of nations.

Thus, more than a dozen conferences were organized for participants who were able to enrich each other through various communications and the exchange of experience on civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights. cultural rights, the rights of the child and the national system for the protection of human rights. Participants discussed the challenges of youth and the issue of the Great Lakes, the human rights situation in Burundi, international humanitarian law, Burundian custom and human rights. on the problem of the HIV / AIDS pandemic in Burundi.

During the two weeks, young Burundians and Belgians have forged bonds of friendship and solidarity; still images and video were taken of their site activities and some cultural aspects of Burundi. This will allow those who have not been able to participate in the Forum to discover Burundi and to bring our youth closer to North-South relations.

After the activities of the Forum, the young participants were able to make 10,000 bricks despite the difficult access to the site. In addition, the young participants from Belgium contributed an amount of money equivalent to 600 euros to buy plates in addition to the school materials they gave to the schoolchildren of Mweya, to the great satisfaction of the beneficiaries and the provincial authorities of Gitega present at the closing ceremonies.

The ITEKA League wishes to thank all those who, from near or far, participated in the success of the Forum. It thinks in particular of the Network of Citizens Network (RCN), IRIBA and CADP organizations as well as the young people of Bayonne for their contribution in computer equipment and which allowed the Ligue ITEKA to install a cyber café managed by the Gitega Section.

Ultimately, the ITEKA League undertakes to support, within the limits of its possibilities, activities similar to the Mweya Forum that concretely translate the universality of human rights and international solidarity.

Jean-Marie Vianney Kavumbagu President Burundian League of Human Rights ITEKA