Time is never wasted when it is given to a child to express him/herself

The Children’s Forum of Hope” of the Great Lakes region was officially launched on Saturday 31May 2014 at the meeting room of the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika in Bujumbura, Burundi. His Excellency Mr Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi gave an opening speech for this occasion.

The previous day, on Friday May 30th we were given kits that would be useful to us throughout the forum and had a presentation of each participant in order to get better acquainted.

The forum included fifteen children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as very high-profiled people.

ForumofHope Invites de marque

HE Mrs Special Envoy of UNSG, HE Mr V-Pres. of Burundi, HE Mrs Minister of Gender and Solidarity of Burundi.

The Opening

The first speaker was the Minister of Gender and Solidarity of Burundi who thanked UNICEF for its staunch support for the success of this forum. The Minister also congratulated the children present for having been chosen by their countries to take part in this forum.

The Executive Secretary of the ICGLR exposed the consequences of war that affect children’s rights.

The United Nations Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa stated that children are the main victims of wars within the region and she encouraged us to actively participate in the success of this forum.

Thereafter and with the public’s praise, the Vice-President of Burundi declared open the works of the forum of hope.

Having thus taken a family picture, we made our way towards the conference room for the beginning of the works.


The family photo

The Groups’ Tasks

The works consisted of each country reading out its Declaration of Peace and presenting its postcard to the forum. Romance and I, Deo Kusanika, did these tasks for the DRC.

We drew out the common problems that affect children’s rights in all of these declarations to help the delegates write a more efficient declaration for the whole region.

The other groups’ tasks consisted of creating a video about children and creating artworks.

In the evening, children from each country expressed themselves through dance, music and cultures in what was called a Talent Show, which marked the end of the first day of the group tasks.

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The Results

The Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika welcomed us back for a second day of works on Sunday 1st June.

The day was long but interesting because we got to talk to Her Excellency Mrs Robinson about matters such as the restoration of peace and the sharing of experiences.

The young ambassadors gave their all to obtain three major elements:

  • –          The regional declaration of children
  • –          The artworks
  • –          The video

We voted four ambassadors who will represent the region as well as present the works of this session to the Presidents at their reunion in Nairobi in July 2014. The elected ambassadors are:

  • –          Deo Kusanika, child of the Democratic Republic of Congo (myself)
  • –          Hamro Oussamah Abdallah, of Sudan
  • –          Léonce of Rwanda
  • –          Fadia Mutesi of Burundi

In concluding this chapter, Her Excellency the Minister of Gender and Solidarity of Burundi announced the closing of the works of the forum of hope.

Therefore, we thank her for all that has been done to enable the Children’s Forum of Hope to succeed.

UNICEF Burundi 2014 Deo Kusanika Matayiya

Deo reading out the Declaration of Peace of the DRC

Discover more about the Children’s Forum of Hope on:

The blog specially created for the Forum of Hope in Bujumbura: Tumblr

Twitter and  Facebook

All pictures from the Forum are now on Flickr!

All articles on the Forum of Hope

Slideshow: Photos UNICEF RDC 2014 Kelvin Batumike

Cover Photo: UNICEF RDC 2014 Adrien Majourel

Translated from French by Ahou Koutchesfahani.

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Déo Deo a 17 ans, il est enfant reporter et finaliste au collège Kivuvu à Bandundu. Il a représenté les enfants de la RDC au Forum de l'espoir des enfants à Bujumbura en juin 2014. Il fut élu ambassadeur du Forum de l'espoir et a représenté les enfants de la Région des grands Lacs au sommet Spécial de la CIRGL sur l'emploi des jeunes. Pour lui, être enfant Reporter est une opportunité qui lui permet de plaider pour l'amélioration de la situation des enfants de sa communauté

Déo is 17 years old, he is a Young Reporter and a student in final year in KIVUVU High School in Bandundu. Deo has represented Congolese childre at the Forum of Hope in Bujumbura in 2014. He was elected as an Amabassador of Hope and represented children from the Great Lakes region at the Special ICGLR Summit on Youth Employment. For him, being a child reporter gives him an opportunity to advocate on improving the situation on children in his community.

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