Burundi is the second most densely populated country in Africa. It is also one of the poorest. The country's violent history has significantly disrupted land and food security, and the impact on marginalised groups such as widows, orphans and ethnic minorities, such as the Batwa people, has been devastating. The Batwa are marginalised and face discrimination which results in their social, political and economic exclusion. As a result they face extreme poverty, with insufficient access to land — even though they are heavily dependent upon agriculture. Under these conditions of extreme poverty, Batwa people are often
unable to access the education and employment necessary to improve their livelihoods.

The 'Livelihoods for Batwa People of Burundi' project is receiving a grant of £417,696, (total project cost just over £500,000) and is specifically addressing the needs of ten percent of the Batwa population — more than 8000 people. Improving Batwa levels of skills, representation, self-promotion and equality, will improve their standard of living, self-respect and status, by addressing poverty and discrimination.
The project commences in 2014 and will run for three years. This high impact project will:

  • „„Increase productivity of land — with increased crop production and livestock rearing, contributing to food security for 2,000 households.
  • „„Increase literacy and vocational skills for adult men and women, as well as access to savings and loan schemes.
  • „„Increase the capacity for self promotion and rights awareness — supporting Batwa communities and leaders to voice their needs and interests in a land in which they have previously had no voice.
  • „„Increase the inclusion of Batwa needs in local authority decision making processes, leading to improved access to land rights and essential services.