Action for Peace and Development (APD) aims to be a force for peace, exchange and development for the common good in Burundi. It was set up by a group of university students and young professionals who wanted to create a new type of not-for-profit organisation, with a special focus on facilitating dialogue and interaction for young people from different backgrounds, to support the peace process and help build a democratic society in Burundi.
APD intends to establish a new type of working culture in civil society, with a high level of individual commitment, transparency and a long-term mission guiding everyday activity.
Since its creation, APD has viewed dialogue as a response to Burundian problems. APD regularly organises study circles, which are monthly debates for young people from different backgrounds. They discuss the challenges affecting their lives, and how to create a culture of dialogue instead of violence to find solutions to society’s problems. Debates have covered topics including peace, democracy and transitional justice.
In the study circle, participants take turns to carry out mini-research projects, give presentations, and respond to questions on a particular topic. This allows club members to expand their horizons, formulate creative ideas, and practice their consensus-building skills.
The bloody civil war in Burundi has had a devastating effect on children, especially those living on the streets. Many young people have suffered psychological stress through the violence, humiliation, rape, and economic hardship which have become a part of daily life, whilst others have been recruited by rebel or government forces, and involved in the fighting.
APD carries out a number of diverse educative and recreational activities for children and teenagers living on the streets. Chants, sports, games and dialogue are among the most used forms.
APD plans to work as a regional peacebuilding organisation, working jointly with local and regional partners. It intends to set up offices in every province of the country and create a supportive framework for emerging peacebuilding associations. APD will cement its ambition by establishing a research center that will allow interested individuals or organisations to access information and research related to peacebuilding work, and by publishing a newspaper focused on peacebuilding and sustainable development initiatives.