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Burundi, Children of Buterere

In the Buterere district of Bujumbura, children survive by rummaging through garbage to find food and bits and pieces they can sell in order to help support their family.

Because it is less populated than other places, Buterere has been - for a very long time - used as a dumping ground by the surrounding villages. With no real waste management program, locals have been throwing their rubbish here. And nowadays, the poorest inhabitants survive thanks to this rubbish dump. Other kids, most of them no older than 10, work in the local brickyards. They can work up to 12 hours a day and will be paid 1500 Burundian Francs (1,2 $).

But really, they all - Emelyne, Jadine, Tama or Audrick - want one thing : “to be like the other children”. Which means going to school, learning to read, to write and count, in order to train to become pilots or simply teachers.

Social workers try to help these children to find their way back to school. Through sport and organised soccer matches, they succeed – at times - to get them out of the rubbish dump and back into a child’s dream.

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