In Balaka, a small town in Malawi, are born approximately 50 children every day. Until some years ago no one of them was registered at birth. A population of invisible people, without rights, in a country in which early marriages, school dropout, child labour and other means of exploitation are unfortunately very frequent. A birth certificate allows not only to have a name and to be a citizen of the country but most importantly to be protected. A non-existent child may potentially be subjected to different forms of abuse: a birth registration can keep him safe.
In recent years the Community of Sant’Egidio with the “BRAVO!” programme, cooperates with the Malawian government to give to all children of Balaka district a certificate that will allow them to exist and to grow up in a sheltered environment. Registrations take place in the different maternity hospitals in town, just after the children’s birth, and the certificate is then handed over to the mothers when they return to the clinic for the visits.
Another important part of the programme is to raise awareness about the importance of birth registration.
In the last months, BRAVO! moved forward and began to register all the children under the age of 16 that are living in Balaka district. Almost 200 thousand.
In these past weeks, to help with the hard task, a group of Youth for Peace from Genoa, Naples and Novara joined the BRAVO! team in Balaka and helped with the electronic registrations and with the delivery of certificates in the villages.
Since day one a great alliance has born between Italian and Malawian youngsters: working together, with the spirit of the Community, goes against resignation and spread a culture of life! A welcoming family that gives to each and everyone a name.