BUJUMBURA March 9th (ABP) – Child Protection Committees (CPE) in Bujumbura province (western Burundi) want all children in difficulty to be identified and assisted. They regret that there are children who did not receive any assistance last year, a check by ABP on Thursday, at the headquarters of the Isare commune during a workshop of presentation of the achievements of 2018 and drawing up of a 2019 action plan, has revealed.

The Chairperson of the Provincial Child Protection Committee, Ms. Adélaïde Hatangayo, said that the objectives were not all achieved due to the lack of financial partners in 2018. She reported that the achievements were more or less satisfactory, principally raising awareness among parents regarding the removal of children from streets; raising awareness among parents to join vaccination campaigns (the province have been ranked second in the meningitis vaccination); the regularization of illegal couples, which allowed children to be registered in the civil registry; the introduction of school canteens which reduces school dropout rates; sensitizing single mothers in Kanyosha commune to abandon infanticide; sensitizing motorcycle taxi drivers and hairdressers in Mugongomanga commune so that they do not drag young girls into debauchery anymore.

Village child protection committees identified children in difficulty and accompanied them although some of them did not report. In fact, 53,309 children in difficulty were identified during the year 2018. Of these, 9,101 were assisted or referred, but some others received no assistance.

The coordinator of the Family and Community Development Center (CDFC) and Provincial Secretary of the Child Protection Committee, Ms. Marcelline Ndabateyinzigo, regretted that some villages are spending 6 months without reporting. She called on the village child protection committees to make an effort to collect the identification index cards and send them to the communal child protection committees for them to send them to the provincial one that will take care of the follow-up of those children in difficulties.

The members of the child protection committees have drawn up an action plan for the year 2019 which is articulated around three main objectives, namely to make the child protection committees more efficient; assist the maximum number of children in difficulty and hold coordination meetings.

Note that the year 2018 was characterized by a glaring lack of financial partners, which meant that some activities were not carried out, Ms. Ndabateyinzigo said. For this year, she added, some NGOs like Save the Children, ‘Terre des hommes’ and IRC have agreed to fund some activities and this gives hope to the child protection committees of Bujumbura that ask the Ministry in charge of the child protection to make available the National Child Protection Policy (PNPE) and its strategy for reference.

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