In her village, she is a secretary at the Middle School of Baskour, a communications volunteer, a UBR volunteer, member of the project management committee at the school, voluntary secretary at the prefect’s office of Baskour. Lontine takes on these varied roles with dedication and with the ambition of helping to develop her village.

Lontine says that before Plan’s intervention, the number of births registered within the two-month free period was not very high, as most who came to register their children did so to enroll them at school. But today a high number of children are being registered before two months of age — especially because of the incentive of receiving a mosquito net.

Lontine holds the UBR register where all the data about births in her village are contained and says that she is proud to be engaged for this cause. She is a great example of a female leader and role model in her community.

We met Justine and her son Aristide at the Health Center in Dargo where she had come to weigh her child.

Click here to sponsor a child today She says that registering children within two months of their birth allows parents to avoid the expense of doing it later. She recalls that when she was young her father had difficulties when he tried to register her as he needed to send witnesses and the family registration book, which not all families have. In contrast, she did not have any problems registering Aristide as it was free.

Justine was also very happy to receive a treated mosquito net as Aristide had just had a bad dose of malaria. Justine can now enroll her son in school at the correct age of 7.

Bibata proudly displaying her birth certificateBibata
Bibate is 10 years old and a pupil in 3rd grade at Darga Primary School. She is very happy to have finally received her birth certificate thanks to one of the mass registrations organized by Plan Burkina.

When we ask her why she was not registered she tells us that her parents could not afford it. She adds: “Now that I am sure that I can sit my exams and in the future get a national identity card, I am really happy with Plan and I will persuade my father to register my 8-year-old little brother.”

Christophe When we arrived at the prefect’s office in Dargo, there was an aura of calm reigning in the office.

Very pleased by our visit, the newly installed Secretary, Christophe Sandwidi, warmly welcomed us and says he is very pleased at the support Plan gives the government for birth registration activities. According to him, the UBR+ project has had a very positive impact on the number of children registered, as the register clearly shows.

Before Plan’s support on this activity, the number of children being presented before being 2 months old averaged between 5 and 10. Now after awareness raising activities the number averages at 15-20. When the UBR+ campaign was launched in Dargo in the month of October 2006, the Prefecture registered 201 children in that month who were presented under the age of 2 months.

For Christophe, the prefecture is now facing a large demand for birth registration for both newborns and older children. For this reason he is very keen that Plan and the Government continue to support his under-resourced office to satisfy this demand.

Mahamadou with several puils who were registered through Plan's UBR campaign The Director of Dargo School, Mahamadou Tao, really appreciates the birth registration project, which has helped teachers as well as parents.

He says that most parents were not aware of the importance of registering their children and the need to ensure they are recognised by the State and so have access to social services such as education.

Many pupils, often very bright, cannot sit their exams if they do not have a birth certificate. For others, they cannot progress to secondary school because their birth certificate was produced after three years of schooling had passed.

The Director hopes that Plan will continue with the campaign in order to cover the children still not registered. At Dargo 30 out of 40 pupils in 1st grade do not have a birth certificate while in 6th grade 10 out of 55 pupils are not registered.

The Director believes that awareness raising activities should continue with parents to encourage them to register their newborns within two months. Each year the school makes a list of the children not registered and invites the parents to rectify this. The school are investigating the possibility of the Parents Association and Mothers’ Association taking on the costs of registration for the children not registered.

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