Handicap International helps ensure people with disabilities have access to basic services and rehabilitation and are involved in their social and economic environments. Present in Burundi since 1992, Handicap International currently employs 60 national staff members and six expatriates.
Burundi is a small, densely populated, landlocked, and resource-poor country. More than 80% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Between 1993 and 2005, on-going ethnic conflict and civil war in Burundi caused more than 200,000 people to flee the country and thousands more to become internally displaced. The conflict left many people injured and the country is still rebuilding infrastructure and trying to overcome the effects of long-term violence.
- Support to physical rehabilitation centers
- Support to disabled people’s organizations
- Socioeconomic inclusion
- Inclusive education
- Child health
- Reducing sexual violence against children
Support to Physical Rehabilitation Centers
Handicap International works with autonomous partner centers to increase and improve the case-management of people with disabilities. The organization trains ortho-prosthetic technicians, provides institutional support, and supplies specialized equipment for the production of orthotic devices.
Support to Disabled People’s Organizations
Staff members build the capacity of local disabled people’s organizations to support awareness raising and advocacy actions to push for the full inclusion of disabled people into society. This project has benefited 3,514 people with disabilities, as well as the People with Disabilities Network in Burundi.
This project improves the economic condition of young people with disabilities and their families in the city of Gitega. In partnership with local social service operators, Handicap International provides occupational training, micro-loans, and business start-up kits to 200 young people with disabilities.
Handicap International supports national education policy that adapts teaching and learning systems to the specific needs of children with disabilities. At national and local levels, the organization advocates for the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to foster the social inclusion of children in primary schools and increase the involvement of teachers and parents in child development. This project has benefited 887 students with disabilities in six pilot schools, 30 primary schools, and 15 secondary schools in the cities of Bujumbura and Gitega. The organization is also carrying out awareness-raising work on unexploded devices with young people and children in 20 schools and engaging in advocacy at national level.
Handicap International provides with 360 children with cerebral palsy and hearing impairments and their families with improved early detection, referrals, and specialized health care. The organization also promotes the involvement and inclusion of people with disabilities in society in order to reduce the incidence of impairments among mothers and children.
Reducing Sexual Violence Against Children
Handicap International improves access for women and children with disabilities to prevention services and supports facilities for victims of gender-based sexual violence. The organization also coordinates national advocacy and awareness raising campaigns on gender-based violence. So far, this project has benefited 200 child victims of sexual violence, including those with disabilities, as well as at least four specialist centers in the city of Gitega.