SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Burundi).

Rutana is located in the south-eastern part of Burundi, a region where most people make a living through agriculture. However, daily life is tough as land is increasingly scarce and the soil is usually poor in nutrients. As a result, many people suffer from food insecurity and lack a secure livelihood. In addition to widespread malnutrition and poverty, HIV/AIDS and the lack of adequate healthcare are further challenges. All this puts children and young people in the region at risk.

Since 2005, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Rutana.

Cildren are infected with HIV each year

HIV/AIDS and other health challenges

As in the rest of Burundi, the Rutana region records a worrying number of HIV infections, malaria and other diseases. At the same time, access to medical facilities remains limited. Although the number of direct HIV infections is declining, some children continue to be affected by the disease due to transmission from mother to child during pregnancy. An estimated 500 children are infected each year. For children, HIV/AIDS often means the loss of parental care, leaving them particularly vulnerable. In the absence of a parent, children might be forced to contribute to the household income or care for their younger siblings.

Of Burundians do not have enough food

Food insecurity

In the Rutana region, most people depend on agriculture, both for food and as a source of income. However, fertile land is becoming increasingly scarce and many people in Burundi are too poor to afford fertilisers to address this problem. As a result, food scarcity is a widespread challenge. This not only increases the number of people living in poverty, but also puts them at risk of malnutrition. In fact, more than 50% of people do not have enough to eat. Children are particularly at risk as malnutrition can stunt their development, leaving them too small for their age.

Your support makes a difference for children in Rutana

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical treatments
Were possible
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children playing together on the playground. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Burundi).

How your support helps in Rutana

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Providing medical care
In areas with limited health services, SOS Children’s Villages provides medical advice and assistance. We offer preventative measures such as medical check-ups and vaccination programmes. Most of the patients who approach us for medical help come from local families, who could otherwise not afford to receive treatment.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.