A tourist paradise | Burundi | Surprising Europe

A tourist paradise | Burundi | Surprising Europe


My name is Timothé. I live
in Bujumbura, capital of Burundi. I work as an advisor
in the hotel and tourist trade. And I teach at several universities. Before going to Europe I worked
for the national bureau of tourism… assisting hotels
with the training of their staff. I trained about 150 students who
are still working in the hotel business. Some have a leading function
as a company manager… while others set up their own business,
and they told me they’re doing great. How are you?
-I’m fine, thank you. You’re working here now?
-Yes, I’ve worked here for quite a while. About twelve years now. Is this a hotel?
-Yes, it’s a hotel. There is still a lot of work
to be done in tourism. There are some tourist spots
that have not been fully exploited yet. Tour guides need a lot of training,
and the same goes for hotel owners… to attract tourists, because
Burundi has a lot to offer them. Each room has two beds and hot
and cold running water. Just perfect. How many people do you employ?
How many are working here? We have quite a few people working
for sub-contractors, about 28 people. Twenty-eight, right.
-We also have temporary employees… for example people
working in the garden. We have about 30 people working there.
So that’s quite a lot too. The training was very helpful,
despite some limitations. The world is changing
and people need to be trained… for things to be improved. What is lacking is the right framework
for working in this industry. To be able to work in this industry
you need proper training. You need to have information
that you can share with others. In 2012, I decided that
I couldn’t stay in Europe for ever… and that I would return to Burundi
as soon as peace had been restored. It was relatively peaceful at the time,
so I decided to go back. Ligue Iteka
and Maatwerk representatives… helped me with my return to Burundi. I’m very happy to be back in Burundi
because I’d always intended to return. I didn’t go to Europe to live there
but only to do my studies. I couldn’t go back because of the war.
I wanted to see my family again. And when I returned,
I was lucky enough to find myself a job. There is a strike going on
at the university right now. This means I’m unable to teach there,
so I’m available to do this. I can go there to explain a few things
to young children… or children who are thinking
of starting this adventure. Timothé, if you can spare some time
this afternoon… we will avail ourselves
of this opportunity… to go to the Kamenge youth centre
and show them the documentary. Alright, we’ll meet at three.
-See you then. The Ligue Iteka has asked me
to help them… to explain the “Surprising Film” to them,
because I’ve been to Europe. I would like to advise young people
who want to go to Europe… to gather reliable information first. Good afternoon. In Europe
they don’t give you money for free. You need to work hard,
if you get a work permit at all. If there is something you don’t
understand, ask questions afterwards. Alright?
Please watch the film carefully. They want to go to Europe because
they don’t get the right information. That’s why they need to see this film.
They still have illusions. And the people living in Europe
aren’t telling them the truth. They are in shock
because they are disappointed. If they see how people are living
there, sleeping on the pavement… if they see images of girls
who have to sell their bodies… they’re shocked, they don’t understand. They are used to seeing people
return who own a car… who are able to buy a large villa. They’re used to seeing people send
large amounts of money to their families. But it’s not like that anymore.
That’s all over. You need to tell them that
even Europeans are struggling today. I’m satisfied, because I can tell by the
look on their faces that they understand. The problem is that people
cannot find a job here either. There are no jobs.
Unemployment rates are high. Some people are still without a job
four, five years after graduating. They become disheartened. The government used to employ
lots of people, but not anymore. I find that today at universities
a new subject is being taught… which is called entrepreneurship.
But the real problem is financing. People need resources,
money that is, to start a business. Maybe to start an agricultural farm
or cattle farm… or to open a small restaurant. But they need money to do that.
And there isn’t any.

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