Emotional Neglect

The Burundian culture maintains a huge emotional distance between parents or caregivers and children, who are frequently scolded, mistreated and punished even for minor misbehaviour or perceived disobedience. The distance can be understood through Kirundi sayings such as: “Wicarana n’umwana atagutuka akaguturira” which means “An adult who warms himself around the fireplace in the company of a child end up being either insulted or burnt”. Children are given very limited space to express their concerns or their views concerning household issues. In a baseline survey conducted by World Vision Burundi in end 2016 and validated by community and national level stakeholders, only 3.90% of adolescents indicated that they felt a strong connection with their parents or caregivers (5). The emotional care is also affected by phenomena as domestic violence, alcoholism and polygamy that prevents adults from paying due attention to the needs of the children under their care.

(5) World Vision Technical Programme Quantitative Baseline, December 2016 and validated by partners at both community and national levels