From the partnership

October was dominated by two major events organized by the Burundi Competence Center: We welcomed around 80 guests at the 30th Burundi meeting and we were invited to the podium at the Frankfurt Book Fair together with Gael Faye.

30th Burundi Meeting On October 13th, around 80 people from the Burundi Partnership gathered in the BW Bank customer hall for two special occasions. The 30th time that people in Baden-Württemberg are meeting to report on their commitment in Burundi and on partnership-based cooperation.

In addition to the anniversary of the meeting, October 13th is also a special day in Burundi. This day is dedicated to Prince Louis Rwagasore, who is celebrated as a national hero of independence. Mr. Hatungimana opened the Burundi meeting with a presentation about the prince, his life and political work. The 30th Burundi meeting took place in a very celebratory atmosphere, not least thanks to the special musical accompaniment by the Burundian musician Bahaga.

In addition to a film from the film series 199 Little Heroes by the Sittler couple, which depicts the everyday life of a Burundian girl, the Konstanz Theater has also proven that art and culture are important instruments of gathering and development policy exchange. The piece 'The Color of Laughter' was created in collaboration with a Burundian theater group in Germany and Burundi. A classroom piece that is intended to inspire young people in particular and make them think is already on tour. 

Frankfurt book fair
On October 15th, the Burundi Competence Center was invited to take part in the panel at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The occasion was the presentation of the book “Little Country” by Gael Faye, which tells of his childhood in Burundi and also deals with the genocide in Rwanda and the Burundian civil war.

A panel on Burundi on the topic of “Forgotten Humanitarian Crises” was organized under the motto “Crisis, Order, Design”. Joyce M. Muvunyi reported on the partnership and how decentralized and civil society connections are becoming increasingly important, especially in times of political instability.

The author also commented on the recurring violence in Burundi and appealed to people from Burundi to write down their stories. Stories from difficult phases of life, but above all stories from everyday life. Also Ms. Dr. Simone Höckele-Häfner from the Baden-Württemberg State Ministry said that the multifaceted depiction of Burundi in “Little Land” reminded her of her trip there and of her own ideas that she had to correct through the trip. The book is an opportunity to take a journey into Burundi's diversity. 

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