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The image shows Batwa people dancing.

Batwa Indigenous Empowerment Programme

Welcome to our website. Batwa Indigenous Empowerment Programme (BIEP) is an organisation of Batwa indigenous people of southwestern Uganda formed in order to improve their people’s living conditions, spread awareness of their situation worldwide, and to organise for a better future for their people.

The Batwa people

The Batwa indigenous people are a tribe who are believed to be the first people that lived in the great mountains and forests of Virunga and Bwindi.

In 1991 the Batwa indigenous people (pygmies) were evicted from the forest, their ancestral lands, by the government. They received no compensation and no help with relocation from the government.

The majority of Batwa live in terrible conditions and are some of the most vulnerable people in Africa. The Batwa indigenous people in southwestern Uganda are among the minority tribes threatened by extinction due to isolation, discrimination, malnutrition, but most of all by poor health and lack of proper medical access. The health situation among the Batwa communities remains the biggest factor in decreasing the Batwa population. Different diseases claim Batwa lives, including AIDS, dysentery, cholera, tuberculosis, and most of the women die during childbirth.

Work of BIEP

BIEP was started by a group of the Batwa people. It was started and directed by the Batwa scholar by the names of Tumwikirize Julius who took a lead to start it as a community based organisation. A group of twenty Batwa got a vision to start this organisation. About thirty more Batwa subscribed to join the organisation.

This organisation has a vision plan to reach out to all areas where the Batwa indigenous people are living, by advocating for equality, representation and fighting for their rights.

BIEP strives to help transport Batwa patients to medical hospitals, cover medical bills, pay for hospital requirements, and feed Batwa patients while they are at hospitals.

We are also doing advocacy work with the Batwa to improve their lives economically and socially, and defending the rights of Batwa people.

Malnutrition among the Batwa communities, hunger and famine are still a problem, so we are designing a plan to change this.