Nevertheless, She Persists: How Burundian Activist Pamella Mubeza Overcomes Taboos to Improve Women’s Sexual Health
With its conservative gender norms, struggling economy, and limited social programs, Burundi is a difficult place to be a young, single mother. When an unmarried woman or girl becomes pregnant, she is often shunned by her family, cast out of her community, and told not to return to school. Cut off from social support systems, she faces daily challenges meeting her basic needs and those of her child. That’s the bad news. The good news is, thanks to people like Pamella Mubeza, the situation is changing. A pioneering local leader and women’s rights activist, Pamella has dedicated her life to shifting Burundi's cultural norms around sexual and reproductive health and single motherhood.
For most people, surviving a gunshot to the head, losing both your son and son-in-law to brutal murders, and being forced to flee your homeland would be grounds for giving up. But Pierre Claver Mbonimpa isn’t most people. He’s a fierce and fearless activist who won’t let the threat of violence stop him from defending the rights of the most vulnerable in Burundi.
Around the globe, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things to promote and protect human rights, and the Fund was set up to support these individuals and be a lifeline to them in times of need. In the face of powerful adversaries, and with minimal resources, frontline human rights defenders are forced to be innovative. This work is extremely dangerous, and many groups, who often work without basic security measures, routinely find themselves at risk of attack, and even death.
It was 5:30pm on August 3, 2015. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was almost home from work in his neighborhood in Bujumbura, when an armed man on a motorcycle pulled up next to his car. He fired at close range, lodging four bullets into Pierre Claver’s face and neck. His life was in danger. Pierre Claver was […]
Isabelle Oldfield, Spring Intern at the Fund for Global Human Rights, explores the worrisome trends in Burundi of government attempts to close democratic space.
The Fund currently supports over 100 organizations in six different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. We’re currently working in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in West Africa, and Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda in the African Great Lakes. Over a decade of grant-making in Sub-Saharan Africa has shown us just how critical human […]
The Fund identifies organizations that are leading the charge for protection and enforcement of human rights, building on-the-ground demand for change, and feeding into global efforts to press for equality, justice and accountability. Here are a few of our grantees’ accomplishments from 2013.