Spès Nihangaza received the World’s Children’s Honorary Award 2019, because for over 25 years she has been fighting to help Burundi’s orphaned and most vulnerable children.
One in five children, around 700,000, in the world’s third poorest country, Burundi, are orphans. Four in ten children were never registered at birth, which makes it difficult for them to access health care, go to school or inherit property. When Spès and her sister Caritas were growing up, they were taught to help the sick and the weak. When, in 1992, they began looking after children who had lost their parents to AIDS, they set up the organization FVS, which is now called FVS Amade. The mass murder during the long civil war that started in 1993 led to many children being orphaned. Spès and FVS have worked to find these children new homes.