the lifelong gift of
gifting a birth certificate
Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is a world-wide problem. It is particularly prevalent in developing countries like Burundi, that have experienced extended periods of civil war, political instability and the break down of law and order.
Most of the times, victims of sexual violence are stigmatised in a conservative predominantly Christian society where sex and sexuality are taboo topics of discussion. Along with high rates of illiteracy, remote locations, lack of access to internet and information has lead to a high rate of unregistered children of these survivors.
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SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS IS UNCOMMON
Burundi, in central Africa, is the third poorest country in the world. Appropriate medical, legal, social and psychological support for victims of SGBV is simply not available to the majority of the population. Lack of support for victims often results in untreated serious medical conditions and infections. When unwanted pregnancies occur, there is high social ostracism, school drop outs and financial hardship.
In a short three day data gathering exercise, we identified over 200 victims of SGBV requesting assistance. Out of this group, 48% of their children have not been registered, denying them access to government health and education services.
whAT WE DID ABOUT IT
Gift A Dream Foundation teamed up with Reavi Baho because we both wanted victims of SGBV, not only to survive, but to thrive. The donations we raised went directly to Burundi to run the program to inform and educate these survivors on how to register their children, and our staff will directly assist them in the registration process by taking them to the government offices, helping them with the paperwork and follow up inquiries.
Funds we helped raise also assisted in the opening of the "Centre Baho" - a hub for victims to receive individual and group counseling from qualified volunteer psychologists and experienced social workers. The center will also provide referrals for professional medical and legal support, host support groups, networking and educational events.
One of the members of REAVI-Baho has donated use of a suitable property to open the Centre Baho. It is located in Kamenge, Bujumbura, one of the most underprivileged neighborhoods in the capital of Burundi.