BRAVO!(Birth Registration for All versus Oblivion)

The Birth Registration initiative of the Community of Sant’Egidio

What is BRAVO ? 

Birth registrations are important because they are the evidence that a “child exists.” Yet it seems just 10% of the population of Malawi has a birth certificate (as of 2014).

We want to ensure that more Malawian children achieve civil registration so they can grow up their communities, safe and happy. 


Why do want to promote birth registration?

If the birth of a child is not registered, or if there is no certification of his or her registration, then the fact that they live in that society cannot be proven.

As a result, they can be excluded from government programs like education, health care and social welfare. They are also more likely to fall victim to underage marriage and organ trafficking.


We want the children of Malawi to feel valued and be valued.

We hope that such a day will come where that is completely normal.

That is why we want as many children as possible to have civil registration. And that is why we are pursuing this project.



The activities

We are carrying out the following initiatives in Balaka District, Malawi (a rural area characterized by severe poverty) to register child births and deliver birth certificates to their families:


1.  Birth registration
Working together with local authorities and the government of Malawi, we are visiting families applying for registration, inputting registration data and printing birth certificates.


2.  Supporting mothers who cannot write
In Malawi, especially in rural areas, many mothers are illiterate and cannot fill in a form. BRAVO! supports those mothers, in collaboration with Balaka District authorities.


3.  Initiative to raise awareness among nurses
In Malawi, it is nurses who are supposed to register births. However, there are few nurses and low awareness of the need for birth registration among those working, so they often give it a low priority. BRAVO! sent 12 young “campaigners” to three hospitals to explain the importance of registering births.


4.  Initiative to educate parents
Birth registration requires the understanding and support of parents. The project explains the responsibility of parents to name their baby and to register their birth to protect their rights – not just to mothers but to fathers.



For Help needed for Birth Registration

Registering a birth costs around $5 (approx. 500 yen) per child.

This amount will be used to pay for the communication and printing costs for issuance of registration and certification. We are aiming to register the births of 2,000 children and deliver certificates to their families in Balaka District