For 15 years Burundi suffered a brutal civil war, leaving more than 300,000 people dead and 600,000 people living in camps inside and outside the country. It is estimated that less than half of the children living in the camps have access to basic education.
Landry Nintereste was just nine years old when civil war broke out in Burundi. As he grew up in the shadow of violence, his wish to support the Burundian peace process was strong. In 2007 together with other students he set up the Amahoro Youth club to build peace and resist violence and manipulation.
The entirely volunteer led organization establishes projects that range from peer to peer education of street kids, workshops with university students to challenge ingrained beliefs and working with young people who do not have access to education. Action for Peace and Development (APD) aims to engage young Burundians and draw them away from violence. They set up peace clubs in high schools where students will learn the skills they need to resist political violence.
The peace clubs are also a place where young people can develop their own practical ideas for how to achieve a more peaceful, tolerant and democratic society in Burundi. The young peacebuilders share this with their peers, families and communities and with a wider audience through radio shows. In 2014 APD completed a peace education project across 10 secondary schools in five provinces, working with 10 teachers and reaching 595 pupils.
Also in 2014 APD joined a coalition of other Burundian civil society groups working on a community-led Early Warning Early Response project to prevent violence during the 2015 elections supported by Peace Direct.
APD is one of three members of the new Grow Peace Fund and supported by Peace Direct.