On March 18th, we celebrated the official opening of the Kabondo Football for Hope Centre in Bujumbura, Burundi.
The welcoming panel authored by the children
The center is managed by the non-profit organization Giriyuja that works with the street children of Bujumbura. Through activities focused on arts and recreations, Giriyuja aims to create an easily accessible and more structured environment for the children while offering them counseling and lessons in Kirundi, French and English.
300 people attending the opening festivities, half of which were children. The hosts wanted to commemorate construction completion and the start of their new center with a festival dedicated to the future beneficiaries — children. The festivities kicked off with a football (or soccer) match between the street children and others from neighboring schools. After the games the party continued with traditional dances and drumming. The ‘tambours’ (drums) are a very important part of Burundian culture and the organization has developed a dedicated program to teach the students how to play and perform.
The game is officially on The project was also officially inaugurated in the presence of local authorities including the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports of Burundi, the Ambassador of France, representatives of Architecture for Humanity, streetfootballworld, FIFA as well as representatives of major NGOs that also strive to increase the safety and opportunity for street children in Burundi.
Architecture for Humanity’s Design Fellow, Elena Ghibaudo, who has been working on site for the last year shared some thoughts:
‘The team of Terre des Hommes and Giriyuja have worked hard in the past weeks to organize the opening: it is very nice to see so much vitality in a newborn building. This spirit of collaboration and unity lingers in the air. I hope that it will last there: lively and pulsating. It is the essential ingredient to ensure a long life and success for the Centre.’
We would like to warmly thank her, the whole team of consultants on site and Giriyuja and Terre des Hommes, for this successful project.
The entrance to the building
As a legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup, FIFA and streetfootballworld launched the Football for Hope program, with the aim of building 20 centers across Africa. The centers are managed by local NGOs, each having a specific program. All centers address health and education issues using soccer as a tool for development.