Founder biography

In 2009, I got an opportunity to share my vision with different high personalities from around the world.  My organisation was honoured to be visited by Howard Buffet, a great American business man, Jerry White, Founder and Executive Director of Survivor Corps, Dr. Ken Rutherford, Executive Director of the Center for International Stabilisation and Recovery at James Madison University.  Having an opportunity to meet these personalities, I feel committed to continue my vision.

Eric received the Niarchos Price in 2010 for his work with ex-child soldiers.

In May 2010, I was honoured to receive Niarchos award 2010 through Survivor Corps.  The late Stavros Niarchos was a leader in global activism.  The Stavros Niarchos Foundation carries on this legacy.  Since 2005, the Foundation has sponsored the Niarchos Prize.  It is presented by Survivor Corps to honor individuals and organizations that promote survivorship and resilience through outstanding contributions to peace-building, reconciliation, and recovery in conflict and post-conflict societies.

I had the opportunity to visit Colombia for the first meeting of states to ban landmines, to New York for the 2010 U.N. General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), to Geneva for the 2010 conference on armed violence and development, and to Vientiane, Laos for the first meeting of state parties to Cluster Munitions Coalitions.  These conferences gave me opportunities to present my work in Burundi as an advocate for assistance to victim of war in my country.  

Eric interviewed during ceremonies of International Day to People with Disabilities.

Currently, CEDAC is working with 25,000 ex-combatants with a full commitment to achieve its goal of peace and in Burundi.  To tell about my evolution during more than a decade in this career, leading toward the best future for the world in general and my country in particular, could take so long time.

I remain convinced that our example shows how any person is able to achieve action if he develops his talents in spite of whatever has happened to you .  My advice is that it is necessary to be someone who always takes and achieves initiatives, especially those that lead toward a collective interest.  It could take a long time, years or centuries… but if one is convinced that what he or she is doing is good, the goal can be achieved.

I remain certain that CEDAC will be able to continue to contribute efficiently in changing the world, however long it should take.  I thank God the powerful who gave me the opportunity to survive, my family, and all my colleagues who shared with me their experiences.

Eric is an ex-child soldier from Burundi who founded a training center for development of ex-combatants known as CEDAC, funded heavily from European sources.  After combat, Eric contin-ued his studies and then created CEDAC to share experiences with other ex-combatants, and analyze together how to prevent conflict in future – “Never Again.”  His vision is to promote social change through peace consolidation and development.  One of the organization’s largest pro-grams is the collection of small arms from the communities across West Africa.  Today CEDAC has 25,000 members from various armed movements.  In addition to his work in Africa, Eric serves as a Global Adviser to The International University Center Haiti (Uni Center).


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