Birth Certificates

Lack of documentation has proved to be a major development challenge affecting the lives of many in Zimbabwe.

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    To open up a world of healthcare. Unregistered children are often unable to gain access to health care services or pay more for those services than a registered child. A birth certificate means a child can access medical treatment and the vaccinations they need to stay healthy.
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    To give children education. Without birth registration, a child can be kept from participating at school. Without birth certificates, it can be difficult for children to get proper education. During the enrolment process there is a need for a birth certificate entry number. This will also mean they cannot sit exams but with a birth certificate, a child will have the necessary documentation needed to enrol in publicly funded schools
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    To provide protection. Without identification, children suffer from political, social and economic exclusion as there is no documentation of a child’s existence. As a result, children are not protected and they suffer from abuse.
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Lack of documentation has proved to be a major development challenge affecting the lives of many in Zimbabwe. Without the legal help that children need in order to secure basic credentials, many children suffer from social, economic and political exclusion that results in them not having access to school or to the benefits and inheritance that will lift them out of poverty and into a future of progress. Birth registration is a basic right and not a privilege. Every child has a right to be registered in a functional society. Birth certificates are essential documents, which are a requirement for many aspects of life and in Zimbabwe you are not eligible for a national identity card, passport or driver’s licence if you lack a birth certificate. 


This project targets orphans and vulnerable children in rural areas, in order to address the challenges faced by those children who are not registered for birth certification. In Zimbabwe these are regarded as an ‘invisible population’. Sethule Orphans’ Trust works with the Government of Zimbabwe to help children to obtain birth certificates as part of its efforts to accord them citizenship rights and to enrol them in schools. It is every child’s right to have a birth certificate as it opens up a wider range of opportunities, such as access to education, health services and social security.