Burundian volunteers eagerly await bill on volunteerism to be adopted

While the world celebrates the Volunteer Day, Burundian young volunteers still face different challenges since the submitted bill on youth and volunteerism has not yet been approved.

Burundian volunteers do not have a law that governs and protects them.

Burundian volunteers do not have a law that governs and protects them.

504 is the number of volunteers who have been recruited since 2014 with the implementation of volunteerism programs by the ministry of youth in partnership with UNDP. The young recruits work in two programs PNVJ (National Youth Volunteer Program) and PBF (Peace Building Funds).

Those young graduates from universities volunteer in different sectors: education, health, justice … M. Garry Conille, UNDP representative in Burundi recognises the great job done by volunteers.

Burundian volunteers still face different challenges. They do not have a law that governs and protects them. Benjamin Flowein, Representative of PNVJ says this is a big challenge they are currently faced with. “We are waiting for the ratification of the law by the parliament. This will obviously give a legal status to volunteers: Indemnity, health to improve the economic conditions of volunteers,” says Flowein, PNVJ representative.

Sandrine Ntiranyibagira, a volunteer in PBF (Peace Building Funds) program appreciates the project of volunteerism. However, she appeals to the government and its partners to review the allowances given to them. “It is equivalent to BIF 50,000. It is not sufficient because there are volunteers who take 4 buses a day and who are obliged to stay at work for the whole day. It would be better to increase it”, she says.

However, Ntiranyibagira appeals to young graduates to apply for volunteerism as it is a good opportunity to get open to the professional world. “I advise young people to apply for this program. We don’t get money but we get knowledge and experience. Besides, we feel proud to contribute to community building”, she says.

Jean Bosco Hitimana, Minister of Youth, says volunteerism is one way to reduce unemployment and challenges that youth are currently faced with. About the law, Hitimana says it is being analysed and assures that it will be adopted by the parliament.

The International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, share their values, and promote their works. The theme of this year is “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere”.