Youth, who make up the majority of the population (65%) in Burundi, have been deeply affected by the cycles of protracted conflict. They have been exposed to direct violence as well as voluntary or forced participation in armed groups and militias and increased vulnerability to political manipulation.
They also suffer from inter-generational transmission of trauma, lack of educational opportunities, lack of jobs and livelihood options. The programme works closely with youth affiliated with different political parties, engaging them through training, debate and the establishment of collectives for action to promote peaceful electoral processes. One of the key successes, the programme has witnessed youth crossing party lines to combat rumours and stereotyping, quelling potential conflict before they even start. Additionally, these Youths have created joint projects and networks of their own initiative. For instance, the creation of a Youth United Cooperative for Integral Development (CJUDI) which brings together young people from different political parties working in the province (NGOZI), has seen Youth collectives work together on community and entrepreneurial initiatives thus strengthening social cohesion.