2022 International Day of Peace Celebration
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On November 15th, 2022, IPB-HROC celebrated the international Day of Peace. 55 people were invited including our partners, journalists and other local NGOs’ representatives. Inspired by the United Nations ‘theme of the year, different speakers contextualized and explored structural and cultural obstacles to sustain peace.
- Background of the event
Every September 21st, under the leadership of the United Nations, the world celebrates the international Day of Peace under a specific theme. The theme of this year is “End racism, Build peace”. Racism is really a threat to peace and every society and individual should be aware in order to turn the tides of such dangerous discriminatory basis. However, the situation of racism is different from one society to another.
A part from that, racism can be grouped in the conceptualization of structural and cultural violence. If racism, in the general sense is not present in Burundi, we do have discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, clan, etc. Therefore, there is still a need to reflect on the structural and cultural violence that hinder the development of our communities. That’s exactly what our celebrations was all about!
- Major reflections
Three main speeches were delivered during the celebrations: One from the coordinator of HROC, Reverend Nahimana Elie, another one from the founder and director of Kariwabo, Ms. Josephine Ndimira and one of our beneficiaries. Our beneficiary testified about the benefits she gained from IPB-HROC’s basic workshop and being part of a SHG. The coordinator and HROC and Ms. Josephine Ndimira shared the experience of both local NGOs related to structural and cultural violence that hinder the development of especially poor women and teen mothers.
In concrete terms, poor women and teen mothers often are not able to register their children in the civil administration. In Burundi, a patriarchal society, fathers have the responsibility of registering their babies in two weeks’ time following birth. If the fathers are not willing to do so (mainly because they don’t want to assume their responsibilities as fathers) or they are not physically present; for instance they are imprisoned or on a business trip, the mothers cannot register them, except on their names only. Culturally, it is the most shameful thing to register a child on a unknown father. It can cause trauma or prevent the child from getting some opportunities in the future. So, many mothers do not simply want that option.
This is an issue that the government even tried to tackle through a presidential decree ordering the registration of all children and married couple.
Unfortunately, the government initiative could not succeed fully due to different reasons that need to be resolve with other approaches rather than law.
In order to respond to that gap, IPB-HROC in collaboration with Kariwabo appealed to all institutions involved such as the ministry of solidarity and local leadership. IPB-HROC particularly is planning a project of supporting in the process of registering those left behind children.
Joining the whole world in the celebration of the international day of peace was an amazing opportunity for IPB- HROC. It was a nice moment to evaluate our activities, reflect on serious and immerging issues to tackle for the good of our beneficiaries. Lastly, having journalists and other local NGOs’ representatives with us help to strengthen our voice that needs to be heard by the government and other stakeholders. Attachments: