Stories from Program: Citizenship

April 17, 2019

A Father Without an Identity – Samson’s Story

by Namati in

The first time Samson tried to get his identity card, he was 19. He and his friend went to the registrar’s office where they were both asked to “give something small” (a bribe) if that wanted to be attended to. His friend complied, but Samson did not have any money. A few weeks later, he…

May 6, 2018

Twenty-Nine Years Without an Identity

by Namati in Identity card Kenya

The pickpocketer was fast. In the blink of an eye, Mahmoud’s wallet was gone. He lost the cash that was in it, his driving license and—worst of all—his identity card. Without an ID card in Kenya, you cannot vote. You cannot open a bank account or get a loan. You cannot gain admission to school…

February 28, 2017

Birth Certificates in Bangladesh: Ruma’s Story

by Namati in

Ruma’s daughter was approaching school age, but there was a problem: Her daughter didn’t have a birth certificate. Ruma couldn’t enroll her in school without one.   The idea of securing a birth certificate was daunting and unclear for Ruma. She is a member of Bangladesh’s Urdu-speaking community, a minority group that has faced discrimination…

July 14, 2016

Shamima’s Story: Maternal Care and Citizenship in Bangladesh

by Laura Goodwin in

Shamima cannot afford health care. Not even at the government hospitals. Like most members of the minority Urdu-speaking community in Khulna, in southwest Bangladesh, she and her husband do not have enough to meet their basic needs. With his income as an autorickshaw driver, they can only afford to rent a one-room house. The counselor’s…

November 17, 2015

Mr Hossain Gets a Loan

by Khalid Hussain in

Nadim Hossain lives in Camp Number 1, Khalishpur in the city of Khulna in Bangladesh. His father, Mr. Hasim, was working in a small pharmacy when he suddenly suffered a heart attack. A doctor advised him he was no longer able to work. Nadim has three siblings and he is the second of his parents’…

November 6, 2015

Justice & Identity in Kibera

by Paul McCann in Kenya Paralegal

Kibera, reputedly Africa’s largest informal settlement, is not an easy place to find your way around. Street names are, as you might expect, non-existent and landmarks are essential. If you wish to visit the Nubian Rights Forum (NRF) you first make your way to the Kibera Law Courts building. From the courts, NRF will guide…

December 4, 2014

The Hope of Citizenship

by Namati in

PARALEGALS WALK WITH PEOPLE TO SECURE THEIR IDENTITY RIGHTS Since 1971 around 300,000 of Bangladesh’s Urdu-speaking minority community, sometimes known as Biharis, have been consigned to live in camps that were set up during Bangladesh’s war of independence. They often live in dire conditions, facing discrimination from mainstream society. Namati and its partner, the Council…

November 1, 2014

Khadija’s Story

by Paul McCann in

Khadija is Nubian, 23 years old and a resident of Makina in Kibera. Before she could obtain birth certificates for her children she had to obtain an ID for herself. Before she could apply for an ID card she had find her school certificate. Khadija did not know what the process of applying for an…

November 1, 2014

Asinina’s Story

by Paul McCann in

Asinina is 20 years old and is a resident of Makina in Kibera. She needed a birth certificate for her little brother so he could go to senior school. To obtain that she first needed to apply for a death certificate for her late mother. To apply for the death certificate she needed to find…

November 1, 2014

Issa’s Story

by Paul McCann in

Issa is a 19 year-old Nubian and resident of Mako’ngeni in Kibera. He had  an ID card, but needed a birth certificate to get a job. To get a birth certificate he had to find the birth certificates of his father, mother, grandfather, and grandmother. Issa had a national ID card, but felt if he had…