Humanity & Inclusion worked during 26 years to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities in Burundi.
Thierry, 9, was born without a left leg. He can go to school with his prosthesis given by Humanity & Inclusion. | © Evrard Niyomwungere / HI
HI began working in Burundi in 1992.
On December 31, 2018, the organization stopped its activities in the country.
HI no longer felt able to carry out its projects due to decisions by the Burundian government regarding international NGOs, including a new obligation to register and report the ethnicity of its employees.
BACKROUND ON HI’s INTERVENTION
With its partners, HI completed the following activities between 2017 and 2018:
- Provided rehabilitation care to more than 10,000 people
- Trained more than 800 health professionals
- Raised the awareness of 85,000 children on violence prevention, including sexual assault prevention
- Supported 400 children with disabilities, or victims of violence
- Included 10,000 children at school
- Provided vocational training to nearly 500 young people
- Raised the awareness of 60,000 people with disabilities on their rights and their social participation.
In Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world, health remains a serious issue for the most vulnerable. Many Congolese refugees have also found asylum in Burundi.
In Burundi, one of the world’s poorest countries, health remains a challenge for the most vulnerable. Burundi is also a haven for Congolese refugees.
More than 67% of the Burundian population lives below the poverty line. The country is experiencing relatively weak economic growth and suffers from high inflation. It is also one of the most densely populated African countries. The Human Development Index (UNDP 2014) ranks Burundi 184th out of 187.
In the health sector, Burundi has some disturbing statistics on neonatal and maternal mortality rates. For the past 15 years, pregnancy and childbirth rank third among recorded causes of death in hospitals. Many women develop an obstetric fistula, or severe tear, as a result of a difficult delivery, or lose their lives during childbirth.
In terms of mortality, women and children under five pay a heavy price and are at risk. The origins of many physical and mental difficulties include chronic diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, mental illnesses, as well as physical violence, sexual violence, road accidents, and war.
Since 1993, the effects of regional political and security instability have led to significant population movements: refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where there are also thousands of internally displaced persons. Since April 2015, following the volatile political climate in the country, hundreds of thousands of Burundians have fled to Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.