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Monrovia (Liberia) - 200 children registered with Bravo: it is a hopeful beginning

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Monrovia (Liberia) - 200 children registered with Bravo!: it is a hopeful beginning
May 16th, 2011

After 15 years of civil war, thanks to the regained peace and the underway democratic process, Liberia is experiencing since 2003 a new beginning, together with a thousand difficulties. One of the most obvious is the lack of birth registration of the majority of the population.

Although it is free of charge up to 12 years, the lack of awareness of the problem and the difficulties associated with the obligation to submit the application only in the capital, Monrovia, make the registration a very rare practice, with serious consequences on the living conditions of children.

For example, frequently the families of the villages send their children to live in cities with some acquaintances, hoping in an access to education, whereas too often the children are forced to do housework, or to work in markets or in the mines, and very rarely are returned to their families. Several of them become street children, with unknown identity and origin. The birth certificate is a great protection for them.

The Communities of Sant'Egidio in Liberia have begun the registration of children who attend the Schools of Peace and other minors in difficulties, following the model already tested by the campaign Bravo! (Birth Registration for All Versus Oblivion), carried out successfully in neighboring Burkina Faso.

In recent days, the first phase of the campaign reached a conclusion and saw the registration of 200 children in Monrovia and villages in the eastern part of the country. A small beginning, but it is a message of hope for thousands of children waiting to be officially registered. This message was promoted by newspapers and local radio and TV.

On Monday, April 25th took place the ceremony of delivery of birth certificates to the  families of the children, accompanied by a big party.