We only operate in regions that we know very well because we lived and worked there ourselves and where we can cooperate with reliable partners.

Philippines – Cebu City

Bata International Regions Philippines

If you visit the Philippines, you will find a country of diversity:  the overriding beauty of nature as well as the hospitality and vitality of Filipinos form a sharp contrast to the high crime rate and bitter poverty in this country. Behind the façade of the democratic constitution and modern legal system that exist in the Philippines, injustice can be found: wealth is concentrated among a few rich families and corruption is blooming. More than 40 percent of Filipinos cannot afford or lack access to basic necessities.

The poorest of the poor live in urban centers like Manila or Cebu City. Poverty is part of the urban image: on the streets thousands of homeless people barely eke out a living. Some of them illegally construct themselves a place of shelter made out of wood or plastic waste. In these rundown areas there is neither running water nor a sewage system.

Lacking medical aid, children often suffer from diseases and malnutrition. Children are relied on from the time they are very young. As every peso is needed, these children often slave away collecting and selling waste. This makes it impossible for them to attend school and thus to attain the very education that might allow them to escape from this misery.

Uganda – Gulu

Bata International Regions Uganda

Gulu is located in northern Uganda, a region that is recovering from twenty years of civil war between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (1986-2006).

During the war, almost the entire Acholi population was displaced and forced to live in IDP camps and experienced atrocious human rights violations such as killings, rape, mutilations and lootings. Children were born and brought up without ever knowing a peaceful social setting and many became victims of abductions and forced child soldiering.

The return from the IDP camps has not been an easy process, as it has been accompanied by a range of new conflicts, most notably conflicts over land and domestic violence. Many people still live in dire circumstances, with little access to basic education or healthcare. The rehabilitation of the infrastructure and the economic, educational and health systems as well as psychosocial counselling and social and economic reintegration of former LRA combatants and victims have remained a great challenge. 

Congo – Bukavu

Bata International Regions Congo

Bukavu is the capital of the Sud-Kivu province. The city overlooks Lake Kivu and borders on Rwanda. Since the Rwandan genocide, this region has become engulfed in various wars and other armed conflicts.

The local medical and education systems have almost broken down completely and the region has faced sky-high mortality and morbidity rates. Gender and sexual violence has become endemic.

At the same time, Bukavu has grown rapidly as hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Congolese from the surrounding region fled their homes for the relative security of the city. The slums around the older parts of town have thus expanded rapidly. It is in these slums that help is needed most.