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Enhancing the autonomy and dignity of people with disabilities

A young boy sitting on the floor of a rehabilitation centre, Burundi
© N.Rouault/Handicap International Belgium

Handicap International’s goal in Burundi is to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and to promote their rights by building the capacity of local organisations.

Handicap International has been active in Burundi since 1992. Our initial projects provided support for rehabilitation centres, centres for children with multiple disabilities, civil society HIV/AIDS control initiatives, and income-generation activities for people with disabilities.

Key facts

Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries. Over 81% of the population lives under the poverty threshold. The World Health Organisation estimates that there are around 800,000 people with disabilities in the country.

• Human Development Index: 178th out of 186
• Life expectancy: 51 years
• Population: 8.7 million
Source: UNDP HDR 2013

Sexual violence project
Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi: Handicap International launches regional project to stop sexual violence against children with disabilities
Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi, 7th May 2013. Handicap International has launched a regional project to prevent sexual violence against children with disabilities in Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya. The organisation decided to take action after learning that children with disabilities are 3 to 4 times more likely to be affected by physical and sexual violence than children without disabilities.
Controlling diabetes project in Burundi
Controlling diabetes
Burundi, November 2009. Candide Kayonde is the project leader for the Controlling Diabetes project in Burundi, a country where about 250,000 people are affected by the disease.

Our projects

Rehabilitation icon

Support for physical rehabilitation centres

Goal: To enable rehabilitation centres run by partner organisations to become autonomous and provide an improved quality of services to more people with disabilities.
Beneficiaries: People with disabilities in Burundi, rehabilitation centre staff and staff at partner organisations such as the local NGO "Aid for assistance and development".

Inclusion icon

Support for disabled peoples' organisations

Goal: To build the capacity of disabled peoples' organisations, enabling them to effectively advocate for the meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities at all levels of society. Support for advocacy and communication initiatives is provided and we help organisations develop strong and accountable management structures.
Beneficiaries: Members of the Burundi network of disabled peoples' organisations (RAPHB) with wider benefits for disabled people in Burundi.

Rehabilitation icon

Community-based rehabilitation

Goal: To promote the inclusion and recognition of people with disabilities in society based on the involvement of communities, local authorities and families.
Beneficiaries: 5,000 people with disabilities, their families and communities.

Health logo

Support for women with obstetric fistula

Goal: To provide access to surgery for women with obstetric fistula (a tear in the birth canal caused by an obstructed labour). We identify women in need of treatment, offer transport to hospital and provide psychological support and physical rehabilitation after surgery.
Beneficiaries: Women with obstetric fistula and the wider community.

Inclusion icon

Support for refugees in the city of Bujumbura

Goal: To provide support focusing on socio-economic inclusion for refugees living in the city of Bujumbura. We are working alongside partners including UNHCR and the International Rescue Committee to tackle barriers faced by refugees such as the lack of access to health services, education and income-generating activities.
Beneficiaries: More than 23,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in Bujumbura with a particular focus on refugees with disabilities, chronic diseases, diabetes or HIV/AIDS.

Inclusion icon

Inclusive education

Goal: To increase awareness of disability amongst teachers and others in the education sector so that they can better adapt to the specific needs of children with disabilities and promote their educational development and social inclusion.
Beneficiaries: 887 children with disabilities.

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Preventing gender-based violence and violence towards children with disabilities

Goal: To improve access for women and children with disabilities to prevent services as well as support services for victims of gender-based violence. We are working with partners and local communities to raise awareness about violence towards children with and without disabilities at both local and national level.
Beneficiaries: Disabled victims of gender based violence.

rights logo

Socio-economic inclusion of disabled veterans

Goal: To improve the quality of life of disabled veterans by offering personalised support that focuses on social-economic inclusion.
Beneficiaries: Partner organisations including the Association Nationale des Anciens Combattants in Bujumbura Mairie, Muramwya, Gitega, Bubanza and Bururi.

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