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Empowering Change: Gitega Workshop Champions the Fight Against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

A three-day workshop aimed at strengthening the capacities of professionals working in recovery centres for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) has successfully concluded. Held from June 4 to 6, 2024, in Gitega, the workshop has resulted in a comprehensive action plan to guide future efforts in combating SGBV within the Republic of Burundi.

Organized by the ICGLR – Regional Training Facility (RTF) on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, in collaboration with the Burundian Ministry of National Solidarity, this workshop brought together 45 professionals from various centers across Burundi. The participants included psychologists, legal experts, medical professionals, and social workers.

Commitment to Eradicate SGBV

The workshop focused on the collective determination of ICGLR Member States to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence. Mrs. Donatienne Girukwishaka, Director General for the Promotion of Women and Gender Equality at the Ministry of National Solidarity of the Republic of Burundi, emphasized the critical role of comprehensive care for SGBV survivors.

The opening session was graced by the presence of Ambassador Bernard Ntahiraja, the ICGLR National Coordinator for Burundi, who commended the ICGLR Secretariat for organizing the workshop and highlighted the ICGLR-RTF mandate. Additionally, Mr. Samuel Nininahazwe, representing Gitega’s Governor, praised the collaboration between civil and police authorities in combating SGBV, especially through case referrals.

Visit to the Humura One-Stop Center

Following the workshop, the ICGLR-RTF team, alongside Mrs. Girukwishaka, visited the Humura One-Stop Center in Gitega. Established in 2012, the Humura Center provides holistic services to survivors of SGBV, including medical, psychosocial, legal, and socio-economic support.

During the visit, attendees were moved by the testimony of a couple with nine children who overcame severe marital strife caused by alcohol abuse. The wife’s courage to seek help led to their inclusion in the centre’s care program. Today, her husband acknowledges the transformation: “We were poor due to constant conflicts. Now, harmony prevails, and we work together for our family’s well-being.”

A Beacon of Hope

The Humura Center has treated 14,000 cases since its inception, serving as a beacon of hope for those in despair. The center’s holistic approach and dedicated professionals have been instrumental in providing comprehensive care and support to survivors.

Future Actions and Implementation

The ICGLR Secretariat, through its Kampala-based training centre, headed by Dr Janviere Ndirahisha, aims to strengthen Member States’ capacities to eliminate SGBV. The newly developed action plan, created with input from Burundian professionals, will be implemented with support from various stakeholders, including gender ministries and international partners.

The workshop’s success underscores the importance of continuous training and collaboration in the fight against SGBV in the region.


The International Conference
on the Great Lakes
Region - ICGLR​

For Peace, Security, Stability and Development

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region - ICGLR

For Peace, Security, Stability and Development