Today 240 million children don't have a birth certificate worldwide. Without a legal existence and associated rights, these "ghost children" are excluded from society and can easily become the prey of the worst abuses.

To face this situation, the mayor of Dogbo in Benin has engaged a birth registration cooperation agreement with his Belgian counterpart in Roeselare. Together, they lead strong actions on equipment, recruitment, training and awareness-raising issues.

On a mission to Dogbo, the Belgian delegation will have to face cultural differences and local traditions to offer the project a full success.


A tailor-made team

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Having worked for 15 years on communication projects dealing with international cooperation, I am happy to rise this production and editorial challenge. My ambition for the film is to highlight the richness of decentralized cooperation, with a great story linking authentic characters and reflecting the diversity of our connected and interdependent world.

The 52' documentary immerses us into the heart of Benin, cradle of voodoo beliefs which is interesting to contrast with Belgium as the European institutions host country. When Roeselare hospital looks brand new, Dogbo’s maternity seems devoid of all means. Facing Belgian school classes with a limited number of students, Dogbo's classes are literally overcrowded. However, these material questions do not seem to touch the enthusiasm of committed actors, for whom comfort seems a point of detail.

By organizing a screening of the film or an online viewing, communities, associations, foundations and companies can today contribute with their partners and citizens to strengthening democratic life, citizenship, living together and openness to the world.

Long life to the Ghost Children Fight!

Jean Crousillac

In Benin as in Belgium, I met sincere characters who offered natural and authentic sequences. I particularly think about the UNICEF representative interview in the unmapped district of Ladji (which could also be called a "ghost" zone), but also about the sequence with the king of Dogbo and the voodoo ceremony which reminds the raw reality of the ground. At the rate of back and forth between Europe and Africa, the partner territories offer us contrasts which will finally prove to be very complementary.

By the richness and the diversity of the issues addressed (childhood, education, poverty, human rights, decentralization, international cooperation, Sustainable Development Goals), the film has great potential as a communication tool.