Rescuing children of victims of AIDS

Out of a population of only 6 million, Burundi is estimated to have 240 000 orphans of aids. These figures provide an idea of the challenge posed by taking charge of these children. At Kirundo, in the north of the country, the association Apecos welcomes the orphans of the region to give them an educational and family environment.

Social and Employment

Project leader


Kirundo, Burundi

Sylvain de Forges

15,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/12/05

“The recent history of this part of the globe is unfortunately disastrous. Burundi suffers from aids and also continues to experience conflicts and famines. In these conditions, providing effective aid is a difficult job: the international NGOs have repeatedly stated their inability to cover a large part of the country. Hence the importance of actions like those of Apecos.”
Sylvain de Forges

Not only does aids kill, but it very often wipes out adults who supply the needs of whole families. In Burundi, where war and famine still break out sporadically, thousands of children are alone and exposed to all possible dangers. Traditional African family solidarity, which never leaves a child alone, is no longer enough: too many adults are now gone for good.

Awed by the vulnerability of these children, some Burundese have decided to welcome them. Organized within Apecos, an association founded in 1993 and internationally recognized for the quality of its action, they are developing many programs throughout the country to help these children, and what remains of their families, to recover hope. Apecos has already helped to school nearly 3000 children and provide medical observation for another 2500.

Reconstructing the future, despite everything

At Kirundo, in the north of the country, where a situation of endemic famine considerably exacerbates the fragility of the persons suffering from HIV/AIDS, Apecos has decided to deal with 640 young orphans of AIDS by setting up an overall assistance project taking account of their food, medical, school, and (if applicable) legal needs.


The Apecos team of 11 persons assigned to Kirundo accordingly bears the heavy responsibility of helping these children and their communities to reconstruct a future in the best possible conditions of staffing and security. From the Apecos center, the children are fed, cared for and clothed, and adults monitor their school attendance as their parents would have done. In addition, Apecos will also develop income generating activities with which the older children will be associated, to provide them all the necessary means to acquire self-sufficiency once they reach maturity.

The action of Apecos fortunately enjoys from the support of several patronage structures in France, including the Fondation de la Serre. fondation Veolia wanted to join in this solidarity faced with the scale of the task: by the 2010 horizon, UNICEF estimates that 15% of all Burundese under 15 years of age will be orphans of aids