It recently came to the attention of the Love Button team that the United Nations (UN) had suspended the voting rights of seventeen countries because of past due membership fees. Among that list of nations was Burundi, a small East African country of just over 10 million people, suffering from violence, poverty, political unrest and corruption.
After only a handful of years following a tenuous peace treaty that ended a 15-year civil war, Burundi faces massive destabilization again. In 2015, protests broke out when the sitting President, Pierre Nkurunziza, would go against Burundi’s constitution and seek a third term. After a failed coup attempt left hundreds dead, President Nkurunziza held the election with his opposition withdrawing in protest, as he declared himself the winner.
In this fragile political state, Love Button knew that if Burundi had any chance of bringing order back to its people, it had to have a voice on the international stage at the UN. Reaching out to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, LoveButton.org founder, Dr. Habib Sadeghi, expressed the importance of Burundi maintaining its political voice at this fragile time and provided a check for $1,360 to bring the nation’s membership account back into balance, restoring their voting rights.
In a follow-up letter to the Burundi UN Representative, Albert Shingiro, Dr. Sadeghi shared his compassion by relating his experiences of growing up among the political unrest of Iran in the 1970’s. Ultimately, he was thrilled to send Shingiro news of the donated funds restoring his nation’s voting rights, and that he’d be receiving some Love Buttons for his staff in the mail very soon.
Photo by flikr user United Nations Photo