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Christian Kazungu

2015 (Narrative Date)

According to the 2018 Global Slavery Index, there are approximately 408,000 people enslaved in Burundi. Amnesty International describes how military leaders have fuelled Burundi’s 10 year armed conflict by recruiting and abducting children. Poverty and years of armed conflict have made it easier for a whole generation of children to be drawn into the armed conflict. The Burundian armed forces as well as Burundian armed political groups1 have all recruited and used child soldiers in a variety of capacities - as porters, informants, “wives” and actual combatants.

Christian became a child soldier in Burundi when he was 11 years old.

In my father’s family, everyone was killed.

Feelings of hatred for people of the other ethnic group.

When I was 11, I knew how to transport weapons or lance a grenade. When I saw my father with a weapon, I thought: why can’t I do the same? Thinking that someone who has a weapon is a real man.

When people leave Foundation Stamm they have to be independent.

Narrative and image taken from a documentary by Djûke Stammeshaus on Foundation Stamm, an organisation in Burundi that helps vulnerable groups.