The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
Providing Protection Amid Political Upheaval in Burundi
May 15, 2015
As the people of Burundi endure unrest and uncertainty amid an attempted coup d’état, UUSC is working with partners on the ground to provide women and children with safe shelter, food, water and medicine.
Over the past six months, UUSC has been supporting local partners in Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital, in preparing for the elections, a source of apprehension given the widespread violence of the 2010 elections. In the lead-up, partners conducted trainings of local religious leaders to help their communities be prepared to register, vote, and cultivate peace and human rights. Community members were also receiving training in election monitoring.
As it became clear in recent days that an attempted coup d’état was under way and threats of violence emerged, thousands of people began fleeing Bujumbura. UUSC connected with its local partners to ensure that vulnerable people would have access to safe housing and necessary supplies to survive the unrest. With UUSC support, local partners are providing people with shelter in areas considered safer than their home communities during the upheaval. UUSC continues to monitor the situation and support local partners as they navigate this situation and do their best to advance human rights in the midst of great struggle.