Burundi: Body of National Volunteers to be established very soon

The National Assembly has analyzed and unanimously adopted a bill on the creation of the national volunteers’ body. Jean Bosco Hitimana, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture has said the body will be managed by the National Center of Volunteers in Burundi that will be set up by a presidential decree.

Jean Bosco Hitimana: “The volunteering period will not exceed three years”

Jean Bosco Hitimana: “The volunteering period will not exceed three years”

“The National Center for Volunteers will provide all details related to this body,” he says.

Youth aged between 18 and 35 who wish to improve their job skills and participate in the development and peace building activities at the national, regional and continental levels irrespective of their degrees, should join the programs.

The Minister says volunteers will sign a contract to be concluded for a period between six and twelve months and may be renewed without exceeding three years. “The volunteering period will not exceed three years,” says the Minister adding that no one will be allowed to continue volunteering activities if they have reached the age of 38.

In 2014, the Ministry of Youth has established the national youth program of volunteers. It has already initiated a pilot project with 504 young volunteers deployed in 294 reception centers spread across three pilot provinces which are Bujumbura, Gitega and Ngozi.

Minister Hitimana says the volunteers receive BIF 60,000 as an allowance each month but BIF5, 000 is withdrawn from the overall sum to be saved. “All their savings are given to them at the end of the volunteering period to allow them to start their own projects,” says Mr. Hitimana.

Jean Bosco Hitimana says his ministry plans to set up the program in other provinces such as Rumonge, Makamba and Bujumbura City.

MPs have raised concerns about the compensations if work accidents occur, the qualification after the volunteering period, sanctions to those who violate the contract, etc.

Minister of Youths has said the National Center for volunteers will establish all details very soon.

The National Volunteering Program for youths was developed within the framework of the international cooperation between Burundi and the African Union Countries. The African Union has requested the participation of Burundian national volunteers in other countries, which is an innovative feature for the project, says the Minister.

According to the recent population survey conducted in 2008, the youth represent 60% of the total population and about 70% of them are under 35.