Parents in Burkina Faso Keep Children Safe Against Malaria

Man holding a mosquito net.

The need for mosquito nets for children in Burkina Faso is high, and solutions are being sought. Parental education is also a big step in the fight against malaria.

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Celebrating Christmas for the First Time

children with heads bowed and hands raised

In the community Bonheur Ville (Town of Happiness), wonderful praise music could be heard. The Saksida Assemblies of God Church was jubilant because they were celebrating Christmas for the very first time.

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woman washing dishes outside

Choosing to Follow Jesus: One Muslim Woman’s Story

Being from a Muslim family, and living in front of the community mosque, Awa’s decision to become a Christian was not acceptable among the Muslim community

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a boy in a red striped shirt carrying a plate of food pointing at another child

The Tradition of Rakiire in Burkina Faso

What is Rakiire? Rakiire consists of two people within the same big family or between two different ethnic groups telling jokes that are often very sour and border on insolence.

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two brothers sitting at school desk

Why are Some Children Considered Highly Vulnerable and Others Aren’t?

The process of identifying highly vulnerable children starts by observing them among their peers. Then home visits and discussions with the child’s parents help the center workers learn more details about the child’s living conditions.This procedure determines whether there is a need to provide help to the caregivers in addition to the support their children already receive from the development center.

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boy sitting with two women in Burkina Faso

Sponsor Letters Can Be a Family Affair

Though Fabrice’s mother lives far away, he always manages to show her his sponsor’s letters. His mother enjoys reading these letters to learn about her son’s benefactor, who lives in a country they know only by name.

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children on benches writing

Life in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso — translated as “country of upright people” — is one of the poorest countries in the world (172 of 182 countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme).

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a family in front of a brown wall

What Is There to Love About the Church?

“The Church is the Bride of Christ through which the world should know the Lord, and to my knowledge God has not planned an alternative.” — Palamanga Ouali, Country Director of Compassion Burkina

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Introducing a Future Minister of Defense for Burkina Faso

Twelve-year-old Fadilatou is one of the top five scholars of her age in all of Burkina Faso. She is the youngest child of the family, with six brothers and sisters. Because of her parents’ hospitality, they have received some of their nephews and nieces, along with their children, so the total number of people in the family is 23.

large family sitting outside

Fadilatou’s father was a driver, but is now too old to work, so he stays at home all day taking care of his grandchildren.

Her mother is a hairdresser and provides food for all the family with her income of less than $2 a day. Sometimes the mother goes to bed without eating, so the rest of the family can share the little food she has gathered.

In 2004 Fadilatou enrolled at the Assemblies of God Patte d’Oie Child Development Center. Her father was not for it because he did not know about the ministry of Compassion, but her mother insisted and convinced him to allow the girl to be part of the program.

Since she joined, Fadilatou has been the top pupil in class. She dreams of going to a military academy next year. “I would like to become minister of defense of the country,” Fadilatou tells her parents.


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What Does Child Sponsorship Mean in Burkina Faso?

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.


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AIDS Crisis in Africa: Living HIV-Positive

My name is Azalea*. I live with my daughter. She is 10, in grade four and is second in her class. So, we are two people in the family. My husband passed away several years ago after a short disease. He was suffering from a liver problem.

We eat rice, millet pastry and beans. As we are only two, I cook once a day. After breakfast, I cook and we eat the meal at noon, and in the evening I reheat the leftovers and we eat.

We are living in an urban area. We have electricity and running water in the community, but only for those who can afford it. We also have a medical center in the neighborhood. Most people sell small items to feed their families.

I discovered my daughter was HIV-positive in 2005. She was suffering from severe chickenpox. The treating doctor suggested us to take an AIDS test. We agreed, and the child was declared HIV-positive.

I do not know how she got the disease, if it was during her birth or during the blood transfusion she got when she was very little.

My daughter does not yet know she is HIV-positive, but I will surely tell her. As I do not know how she will react, I am looking for the right moment to tell her.

I am also HIV-positive, but I do not know how and when I got infected. When the doctor discovered that my daughter was HIV-positive, he encouraged me to take the test and that was how I came to know.

I was very shocked when I found out. I was asking myself how I would live with the disease and how others would react.

Four years after being declared HIV-positive, I am still asking myself the same questions. (more…)

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Malaria in Africa: Nana’s Story

The sun was at its zenith on that Thursday I visited. Nana had been at the center since the morning. After the holistic child development program, it was now lunchtime. Many children who were not part of the development center gathered round the church’s courtyard, staring at the registered children enjoying their meals.

Every Thursday there are two groups of children that meet at the development center: registered children and those waiting to be registered. It was such a privilege for Nana to be registered.

Malaria in Africa

smiling African boy

After lunch, Tou-Wend-Sida, the team leader, took Nana home. The boy’s left foot was wounded and he could not walk home from the student center. When the team leader and Nana reached home, the boy’s father was sitting in the shadow of one of the two huts that compose the household.

He was resting after working the whole morning to put harvest in a safe place in their loft made of high grass. A smile of complete satisfaction could be seen on his face. The rainy season had been satisfactory, and the harvest was better than in the previous year.

“Hopefully, there is going to be enough food this year after a time of severe food crisis that turned so many lives into hell on earth,” the boy’s father seemed to say to himself, while staring at the loft.

The boy’s mother and sisters were nearby, making brooms out of grass plucked in the field that they will use to sweep the courtyard and the huts.

Some months ago, Nana’s family was going through hard times. Nana was sick from malaria. The family might not have not noticed that the child was sick except for a fortunate accident. Nana was riding a bicycle with his older brother when his left foot got trapped in the rear wheel’s spokes. (more…)

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