HISTORY OF BURUNDIAN COMMUNITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Burundian people have been started settling in South Australia in 2004; many of them came from refugee background. In 2005, few families met together and decided to form an Association of Burundian people background. The Association aimed to gather all Burundians settled in South Australia with the purpose of supporting each other and providing orientation to new settlers in South Australia. Till now the Association has been led by four presidents. Leonidas NITEREKA (2005 -2008); Muhama YOTHAM (2008-2011); Charles NZOHABONAYO (2011-2013) and Modeste HATUNGIMANA (2013 till now).
The ABCSA has received various small grants and funds to carry out programs such as welcoming parties of New Settlers and assisting different cultural Burundian groups. The ABCSA has supported different cultural groups such as:
- Men Drummers started performing Burundian culture in South Australia in 2007. They made a difference from diverse cultural groups in SA in integrating Burundian culture among other Australian cultures. Now, Burundians are well known through its drums.
- Burundian Women Dancer’s Group has started performing in 2006.The purpose of the Burundian Women Dancer’s group is to keep Burundian culture alive and showcase Burundian heritage to the wider community in order to contribute to the Australian multicultural society.
- The Burundian Eagles Soccer Club South Australia started in 2006. The purpose of the club is to encourage Burundian youths and other people to exercise as the way of keeping good health at the same time increase soccer skills and be at the top to promote Burundian soccer talents in Australia.
- Northern Refugee United Social Club of SA (NRUSC) started promoting the sport of soccer in 2009.The club promotes and encourages broader African refugee background communities to share stories after soccer and other sport activities and also encourage children and youths to participate in recreational/social activities.
- Agasimbo group aims to improve fitness of the Burundian youths and to maintain Burundian culture through traditional dance.
- Formation of Burundian churches was another way of Burundian to come together and praise and worship God in the way they used to do back home. Now there are more than five churches within the Burundian community.
The 2009 received funding from Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) currently called Department of Immigration and Border Protection to be empowered in self-governance in order to become an independent organization. The grant helped the ABCSA to train volunteers, develop policies and procedures. It helped also ABCSA to provide services to the Burundian community. The Vietnamese Community in South Australia Chapter was the organization which was nominated by government to mentor the ABCSA to reach its potentiality in community management.
In 2012, ABCSA continued signed an agreement of working in partnership with other organizations in order to sustain and keep providing services to its targeted groups. The partnership was named “Peachey Place Living Centre” composed by Burundian Community of SA, Lutheran Community, Housing SA and Playford Counci.
In 2014, ABCSA has moved to new building which provides more space to deliver services and activities to Burundians and other Africans. This was characterized by big achievement where ABCSA was able to employ five staff who run various programs and projects to community. A new strategic plan was developed. Apart from, the Peachey Place partners, ABCSA have created and maintained a good working collaboration with Australian Refugee Association and other non-governmental and governmental organizations. The Community Access and Services previously called Vietnamese Community of SA has become a strong supporter of ABCSA financially and materially. A promotion website was created. ABCSA is achieving all those outcomes not only by maintaining good working cooperation with other organizations but also through good cooperation and mutual understanding with the Burundians living in South Australia