RNJ+, unique youth network in Burundi, wins Red Ribbon Award

A one-of-a-kind youth network in Burundi is one of this year’s Red Ribbon Award winners for its contribution to the health and well-being of people of all ages.

Réseau National des jeunes vivant avec le VIH (RNJ+) has been recognised as an outstanding example of excellence in the community-based response to HIV.

What makes it one-of-a-kind in Burundi is that the network serves all young people including those most affected by HIV or marginalised through discrimination or criminalisation. This includes people living with HIV, LGBT youth and sex workers.

RNJ+ was a key implementing partner in Link Up, a programme which improved the sexual and reproductive health and rights of nearly 940,000 young people across five countries in Africa and Asia. RNJ+ is supported by Alliance Burundaise Contre le SIDA (ABS), the Alliance Linking Organisation in Burundi.

Receiving the award at a ceremony at AIDS 2016, Cédric Nininahazwe, RNJ+’s Executive Director said: “We are proud and honoured for the award, after 12 years of serving the community.

“Congratulations to all my comrades and thank you to those who accompanied us and who are still with us, and we also celebrate this moment in memory of our friends who have already left us.”

RNJ+ was one of three winners for their contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

You can see the complete list of award winners here.

Watch how the young people that make up RNJ+ are making a difference in their communities through these two films – HIV is my Good Friend, featuring Pacifique and Sugar for your Child featuring Nahimana.