It was when ex-policeman Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa was wrongly imprisoned for possessing an illegal weapon that he promised himself if he was ever released; he would dedicate his life to battling injustice. After two years, having endured regular beatings and torture, Pierre was finally released and, true to his word, he founded the Burundian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH). He is now the country's most famous human rights activist, campaigning against torture, corruption and the plight of 9,000 detainees being held without trial in the country's overcrowded jails. He is also one of the few people fighting for the rights of child prisoners, lobbying for the introduction of a separate judicial system for minors and for children to be held in separate prisons to adults. Pierre has been hailed as one of the few who stand up for the rights of both Hutu and Tutsi communities in a country divided by ethnic conflicts. He has received many death threats for his work against corruption, but continues undeterred. "Not even death threats can get me to stop - without me, these children, these prisoners have no one," he says.
Local Hero Two - Consolata Nsengiyumva
Consolata Nsengiyumva's life changed overnight after watching the evening news at her home in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. She was so moved and upset by the story of a newborn baby flushed down a toilet by its mother, and the images of the tiny boy nobody wanted fighting for his life in a hospital, that the next day she started the process to adopt him. She also decided that she would reach out to all the abandoned children she could, and set up a charity called Baho. She now visits the notorious Mpimba prison three times a week, armed with fruit, eggs, bread and milk for imprisoned mothers and their children. "It still breaks my heart to see these tiny children behind bars - prison is no place for a child, and it's not just food they need, but love," she says.