Project #171 | ID Kits for Burundi's Batwa People
Our partnership with African Road
The Batwa people, the oldest people group in Burundi, face systemic discrimination and live as internally displaced peoples without land, their traditional livelihood, and access to formal education. These indigenous people are not only the poorest but also the most marginalized people in Burundi, with many not even considered human by many Burundians. Discrimination is furthered by the fact that a vast majority of Batwa do not have National Identity Cards and are therefore not viewed as legal Burundian citizens. Without an ID, one cannot vote, pursue justice if a crime has been committed against them, own property, find employment, legally marry, easily access healthcare, and other fundamental services. Children born to parents without ID are not given a birth certificate, continuing the cycle. During the international COVID-19 pandemic, legal recognition of identity is more important than ever for securing health services.
One Day’s Wages’ partnership with African Road has helped support the Batwa ID Kit Project, which works towards citizenship and associated rights for the Batwa people. Through the project, serving entire villages at a time, Batwa people were issued IDs and other critical documents, including health insurance cards, birth certificates, voter registration documents, and civil marriage ceremonies. In addition, healthcare provision, and sanitary items, including access to water and soap, during the COVID-19 pandemic was a central part of the ID kit provision. Beneficiaries are now on the road to self-sustainability; something that would have seemed impossible just a few years prior, children are in education, people can travel freely, and healthcare is accessible.
Our collective impact
Birth certificates distributed
People who received COVID-19 prevention education
ID cards distributed
Daniel is the village chief in Rucunda, and father to nine children. With an ID, he was able to run and be elected to join a leadership committee at the Commune level (a tier of local government). Not only are Batwa without ID unable to run for positions like this, but they are also unable to vote. The fact that Daniel was elected by his community is huge progress for the Batwa in increasing their political representation and ability to make change. In addition, Batwa without ID are excluded from government services like those that can help them farm more efficiently. According to Daniel, “I was afraid of going to buy fertilizers from government services because I had no ID. But now when the agricultural season is here, I go and buy them with no fear.” This fertilizer will allow Daniel to produce more crops, keeping his children well-nourished.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.