What Does Child Sponsorship Mean in Burkina Faso?

Child sponsorship Pastor Korogo has been a pastor since 2002. He officiates as junior pastor in the central church of the Assemblies of God Church of Ziniaré, 30 kilometers from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

In 2008, when the church began partnering with Compassion, Pastor Korogo was recruited as child development center director because of his long-standing experience in the ministry among the children of his church.

The development center has 220 registered children who take part regularly in center activities. Like all the other centers in the country, it is located in an area where poverty is visible in people’s daily lives.

The great majority of the population does not have access to drinking water or electricity. When someone in these families falls ill, he is cared for with indigenous methods, as families can’t afford medical care or drugs at the pharmacy.

The child development center is located in a community that is nearly 70 percent Islamic. The largest mosque in the city is 10 meters from the church that shelters the center. This proximity sometimes makes it difficult for Muslim children to effectively take part in the center activities.

“Several parents withdrew their children from the center because they were convinced by their religious leaders that the objective of the center was to convert their children to Christianity. What these parents were afraid of was that their children would be taken away by the church.” — Pastor Korogo

The center workers continue to take care of the children who come to the church on Thursdays. The radical change in the lives of these little ones has convinced more than one parent of the great opportunity their children have in coming to the center.

As a result, the Muslim community lives in harmony with the Christian community. Today, more than 70 percent of the children registered at the center are from Muslim families who still encourage the children to persevere in their participation in the activities.

This happy situation is largely the result of the frank relationship of love that exists between the children and their sponsors. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the joy that fills a child and his family when the child receives a personal letter written from abroad.

In nearly all families, these letters are preciously kept and shown to the important visitors, demonstrating the pride the family has in being known beyond the borders of the country. This restores the image of the whole family, even if this family was “watched out of the corner of the eye” by members of the community.

When a child does not receive letters, the relationship is weakened a little. So the relationship must be dynamic. Letter writing establishes the relationship with the sponsored child. It makes it possible for the child to communicate with an adult, and like any child, this gift is seen as a sign of very strong love.

But the height of joy for a family is, without any doubt, to be visited by their child’s sponsor. This constitutes the highest honor, and helps fulfill the hope that they get to know each other deeply. The sponsor also sees the child’s daily life and notes the differences that sponsorship has made.

Pastor Kogoro hopes that if the sponsor takes this step to visit, it will not only further encourage the sponsor and child, but the sponsor will be convinced of the salvation brought to the child, who in his turn will know for certain the true love expressed by his sponsor.

18 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Sara April 22, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this. My first sponsor child is from Burkina Faso – I wish one day to see her but as that is unlikely I am showering her with many letters. I hope she and her family are blessed.

  2. Susan Rodenbaugh Martin June 17, 2010

    More more more writings Pastor Kogoro! Thank you so much for this very well written blog. I sponsor a 12 yo girl who is in Pissy Child Development. She is the top of her class this year and I am so proud of her. She worked very hard. I write her very often(like every week or so) and I can hardly wait to visit her. We are planning a trip of our own to come – oh, to see her face the first time-what a real blessing that will be!!!

  3. ferdinand June 15, 2010

    i was really fascinated by Michelle Tolentino’s testimony. i really encourage sponsors to visit their sponsored child. it is very emotional when a sponsor visits his/her child. I remember samuel, a little boy in BF crying when his sponsor got into the van and said ”Goodbye Samuel”. The sponsor himself nearly shed tears and promised to come back as soon as possible.I conclude by thanking all those who bring a smile and light in the face of all those chidren in need.Good bless you!

  4. John Laba June 10, 2010

    It is not cheap to visit a sponsored child! But the experience, exposure and impact resulting from it is worth the expense. When you know that you are dignifying that child and opening his or her horizon to dream bigger, feel the strength of that human connection and the love of God, you are extremely happy! Pastor Kogoro, i hear you!

  5. Paul Henri KABORE June 10, 2010

    Shalom Geri! Thank you for deciding to sponsor this young girl!
    Surely you are making a difference in her life!

  6. geri June 6, 2010

    I meant to add this earlier, but this blog inspired me to sponsor a child in Burkina Faso. I did so on March 6th, a young girl named Sadiatou. Thank you Paul Henri Kabore for sharing what sponsorship means to the families and children in Burkina Faso.

  7. Michelle May 7, 2010

    We just sponsored a little girl last night from this very project. It is so nice to have this information available! Thank you!

    1. Mary Lu Moss June 10, 2010

      Michelle, What project is that? I’m fascinated with BK and love to learn more about it. Blessings!

  8. susan martin March 9, 2010

    ahhhhh, I found this site
    and opened my eyyes! Now, I want to visit them even more than ever! thank you,,,,Susan

  9. Amy Wallace February 24, 2010

    I’ve visited one of my children, and hope to visit the other 6 eventually. There is nothing more amazing than spending the day with your sponsored child!!

  10. geri February 19, 2010

    I found this blog entry fascinating. It’s amazing how sponsorship can really change a child’s life and that letters can have such an impact. Thank you for posting this. Geri

  11. Kees Boer February 18, 2010

    Great question, John,

    I’ll let one of the former Compassion children answer that question:




  12. john February 17, 2010

    why is it that jesus is the most important thing given to these children in need? i feel indoctrination of children is very inappropriate for a charity

  13. Amy February 16, 2010

    I’m a correspondence sponsor in BF, and have so bonded with my little guy, would really be heartbroken to lose him!

  14. Marci in MO February 15, 2010

    In Feb 2008 I visited my two girls in Burkina Faso; I hope that my visit meant as much to them as it meant to me. They are both darling girls, I was able to visit one of them at their home, it was such a blessing to be able to see them (the family)in their home. I think of that trip nearly every day. I share experiences about this trip with many that I meet, and encourage other Sponsors to meet their children if it is a possiblility for them. I know that many will not have the funds to do so though. I now have two more children, one in Ghana and the other in Ethiopia; I hope to someday visit them as well. Blessings to Burkina Faso and their hardworking Staff.

  15. Juli Jarvis February 15, 2010

    Every time I speak in a church for Compassion, I remind sponsors to write their kids! And yes — a sponsor visit is one of the most memorable experiences of life! I highly recommend it!

  16. Paul Henri KABORE February 15, 2010

    So many registered children and their families cannot wait to see sponsors coming to visit. I would like to encourage sponsors to visit if they are able to! You cannot imagine all the good you do to your registered child and family when you pay them a visit!

  17. Kees Boer February 15, 2010

    A few days ago, I had dinner with someone, who worked for Compassion Bolivia (what other country, did you expect. LOL) for 5 years. She told me that the biggest dream for most of the children is to meet their sponsor!

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