In July 2008 the day-care facility “Centre Duhinduke” (meaning: “we take our lives in our hands”) was created in Buterere, one of Bujumbura’s many poor districts. It is located in the north of the capital and does not provide access to water and electricity. The inhabitants are among the poorest of Bujumbura and the district is lacking jobs and perspectives.
Since December 2007, Fondation Stamm is active in Buterere. In the beginning there was only a small office, providing medical care and distributing micro loans. Today the Fondation rents a small house. It accommodates the day-care centre and a “Bureau d' écoute”. People can come to this office with all of their concerns, problems and needs.
Two female educators take care of 150 children from the age of three to six years, who are organised in morning and afternoon groups. Their mothers take turns supporting the staff, so that generally the mothers are able to earn money but take their share in guaranteeing the smooth functioning of the institution.
The project is seen as an integrated part of the local people. The parents of the enrolled children contribute to the salary of the staff and the rent for the rooms. Additional funding, as well as teaching material and toys, is provided by burundikids via Fondation Stamm.
The financial support of the parents had been established to oppose a “wellfare-attitude” of parents and to encourage their responsibility, because there are no fees for the childcare.
A second small room is open to women and men in need of support for their families (“Bureau d'écoute”). They have the possibility to receive a micro loan. The idea for this office came from the fact that many street children of the inner district, especially around Bujumbura’s central market, are from the Buterere district. Many of them are girls. The parents send their children to beg and do not allow them to return before they made a certain amount of money. This money is needed to buy food for the family. These circumstances neither allow the children to attend school nor have a life of emotional security. Their world is shaped by theft, drugs, sex and violence.
The contact to the families is established bit by bit through intensive talks with the children. When there is a trusting relationship between the children and the staff of the Fondation Stamm, the children invite the staff to their homes and introduce them to their families. When the contact to the families is affirmed, solutions are sought so that the children do not have to go back on the street.
The Fondation Stamm and its facilities are well known in the whole district by now. Therefore direct access to the families is possible; preventive work can be done. It is always the goal to return the children to their families as fast as possible and to support them through micro finance. The loans range between 20,000 FBu (approximately 11 Euro) and 200,000 FBu (approximately 110 Euro). Very successful is the donation of collected used clothes for the families to sell.
The day care centre was visited by the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg in 2009. She was invited to Burundi by UNICEF.
Subsequently, the facilities had to move, because the landlord claimed his house for himself. After initial difficulties in finding a suitable place, new housing for the day care was found.
The Centre is very successful and should be continued as is.