Beyonce’s new partnership to benefit clean water in Burundi comes to life at ESSENCE Fest.
The lack of access to clean drinking water is a widespread crisis that affects millions of people everyday. Known as the “Heart of Africa,” Burundi is home to a population where nearly half of the residents have no access to safe, clean water. Among those most vulnerable to the devastating effects of this epidemic are the children of Burundi.
Together with UNICEF and through her BeyGOOD Foundation, global entertainment powerhouse Beyonce is taking a major step towards improving water conditions in Burundi through a brand new initiative titled BEYGOOD4Burundi. The partnership will support several initiatives to improve water, sanitation and basic hygiene practices in the hardest-to-reach parts of the hidden East African community.
Announced on Friday morning on the 2017 ESSENCE Festival centerstage, the first phase of the partnership includes the construction of new wells equipped with hand pumps, hygiene education and the improvement of water and sanitation facilities in schools in four priority regions, including Bukemba and Giharo in Rutana Province and Kinyinya and Nyabitsinda in Ruyigui Province. In these rural communities, children are chronically malnourished and more than 65 percent of the population is using unsafe water sources. Children and families have to walk long distances to water collection points, and even then the water access rate is extremely low.
“BEYGOOD4BURUNDI is a continuation of the work that Beyoncé, her family and Parkwood Entertainment are doing to address water crises around the world, including right here in the state of Louisiana and in Michigan,” said Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, who traveled to Burundi earlier this year. “In Burundi I saw myself, my sisters and my mother in the strength of the women and young sisters traveling miles to carry water for their families. Today young girls in the ‘Heart of Africa’ are given the gift of hope for a brighter tomorrow through our multi-year partnership with UNICEF and commitment to support safe water access solutions.”
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