As a Republic, Burundi’s current president Pierre Nkurunziza started his third mandate in August 2015. Ever since he declared that he would run for a third term on 26 April 2015, which some claim to be unconstitutional, the country has found itself in a political turmoil with violent protests leading to about 240,000 (registered) refugees, and suspension of international government aid. Currently, the violence has become less intense and more sporadic, but the country is yearning for more stability.
NTAKARUTIMANA Salvator a peace agent, who after attending Global Peace on the Move decided to invite Peace Revolution for a series of workshops in Burundi. Together with the other peace rebels namely, Lauren Schuivens, Aimable Havyarimana and Vanessa, Salvator began to put together resources possible to make the workshops a success. Despite the wanting state of security in the country following post-election violence, the team was able to forge ahead.
There were more to attend the sessions than earlier anticipated. All sessions took place within the capital city. The first workshop was held at Hope Africa University, the second workshop was held at the Centre d’appui aux initiatives Locales de Développent et d’assistance aux personnes Vulnérables and the last session at a personal résidence. All the sessions were guided by peace architect Timothy Onyango. The overall number of participants was 303.
All the sessions were dubbed: Inner Peace and Stress Management. Participants were introduced to meditation and shown how to use meditation to deal with life challenges and majorly stress. Most of the participants mentioned feeling calm, relaxed and peaceful after the sessions. A lot of the participants became more curious and started asking interesting questions. They were hungry. They wanted to know they wanted to know how they would keep it burning. It was so clear that this was the beginning!
Salvator and team have created a Facebook page for Burundi and together with the team they have started planning for even a bigger PIPO event in 2017. They expect to have more than 600 participants attend the PIPO Burundi 2017. They see this as an opportunity that will enable Burundian youth to know more about meditation, to develop the culture of inner peace and observe the acts of self-discipline.