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Bravo, BRAVI: Breaking Cycles of Gender-Based Violence in Burundi

“Let’s eradicate the practices and customs that are the source of violence against women and girls,” read the Kirundi-language banner hanging behind a panel of men and community leaders participating in a live local radio broadcast. During the radio show, the men shared positive changes in their attitudes and behaviors as a result of trainings by EngenderHealth’s Burundians Responding Against Violence and Inequality (BRAVI) project, which is improving local efforts to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

EngenderHealth program participants took to the airwaves in Burundi to campaign against gender-based violence.

The radio broadcast was one of a number of events and activities undertaken by the U.S. Agency for International Development–supported project, in support of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, an annual global campaign that takes place from November 25 to December 10. In partnership with Burundi’s Ministry of Human Rights, EngenderHealth’s BRAVI team produced national radio spots designed to raise awareness of SGBV. The spots summarized and shared the most important provisions of Burundi’s new laws preventing SGBV and protecting its victims. The BRAVI team disseminated information about the new SGBV laws at the local level and provided technical expertise to community leaders, government administrators, and law enforcement in four communes of Burundi. “The support of the BRAVI project is of paramount importance in the government campaign in fighting SGBV,” said Ndihokubwayo Charles, coordinator of the Centre de Développement Familial et Communautaire in Ngozi commune.

During this time, BRAVI also worked to support Burundi’s Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs, and Gender (MHRSAG) in finalizing the 2017–2021 national plan for combatting SGBV. 

“I was always drunk. My wife was not allowed to touch the key to my shop; we were fighting in the open air. Now, thanks to the BRAVI project, things have changed. Even now, at this very moment I am participating in this public broadcast, my wife is running the shop.”—N. Celestin, one of the 328 men who participated in EngenderHealth’s training.

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