The United Nations have stated that sustainability requires inclusive and quality education for all. In Burundi that means supplying Kirundi language Education.
Without education, sustainable development projects can fall flat. Time and time again, hopeful projects have lost support from local people, or have found they are unable to continue when knowledgeable personnel and volunteers have left. Education shouldn’t be something only a select few are granted, but a tool to empower people to help themselves.
However, education doesn’t just mean teaching skills or crafts, it also means creating a better world for this generation and future generations. A world which allows every child to acquire the knowledge, attitude, and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Education allows for informed discussions to take place, discussions which will shape a community’s goals and expectations.
That is why, in association with There Machi Education, ASASS representatives have been working tirelessly to translate and record a series of educational lessons on a diverse range of topics. These topics include “Safe Sex for Teenagers” and “Becoming A Women”, a course about menstruation in young women and what they should expect.
Because the lessons were originally provided in English, many local people struggled to understand them. Translating and recording them in Kirundi meant that those same people now have access to information they would otherwise have been excluded from.
For many young people in Burundi, topics such as safe sex are seen as taboo and ‘off-limits’. Discussions are rarely held and information can be hard to come by. However, in a country which is severely affected by the spread of HIV, discussions around safe sex are important.
UNAIDS estimate that over 73,000 Burundians were living with HIV in 2014
(http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/2014_subnationalestimatessurvey_Burundi_en.pdf). Education is just one step to ensuring a reduction in these numbers, by helping to prevent the spread of infection and teach safe sex. UNAIDS have said that education in the past, has shown a reduction in risky sexual behaviour among young people.
Other topics such as menstruation also tend to be avoided in smaller communities. Young girls can find themselves feeling alone and isolated, unsure of what is happening to their bodies. These lessons help to create workshops and safe spaces, enabling these young women to discuss and understand their problems with others, and helping them to realise that they’re not alone.
So far, 32 interactive DVDs have been created. ASASS have already helped to create a number of DVD workshops in local communities, with high turnout. In the future, ASASS predicts that these workshops will become increasingly popular, with demand for newer lessons and content.
Thank you to There Machi Education, the ASASS representatives involved in the translation and recording of these lessons, and those who have arrange and organised workshops in Burundi. ASASS look forward to continuing to help and support these people and seeing the continual development of a sustainable future in Burundi.