Ministry Highlight: Burkina Faso

burkina-faso-africa We began our ministry in Burkina Faso in 2004 starting with the Child Sponsorship Program. So far we have 20,000 registered children in Burkina Faso.

Country Director

Palamanga Ouali joined us as Country Director of Burkina Faso in May, 2009. Palamanga is an economist with almost 17 years of experience.

Prior to coming to our ministry, Palamanga worked at the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Burkina Faso, the United Nations Development Program and the United States African Development Foundation.

He has expertise in economic analysis, business development, management and human development, as well as a special interest in advocacy and policy dialogue.

Palamango holds a statistical working engineer degree from the African and Mauritius Institute for Statistics and Applied Economics in Kigali, Rwanda as well as a master’s in economics from the University of Ouagadougou.

He received his postgraduate diploma in economics policy management from the University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, in France.

Implementing Church Partners

Implementing Church Partners are local churches in Burkina Faso with whom we work to deliver child development and ministry in the field.

More than 50 percent of the population in Burkina Faso claim to be Islamic, while only 6 percent claim to be evangelical Christians. The Islamic population receives scholarships and investments from Islamic countries whose claim is to Islamize the country.

The lack of denominational diversity is a challenge for our ministry in Burkina Faso. Our standard is not to have more than 25 percent of the registered children from any one particular denomination. Currently, there is one denomination that accounts for more than 60 percent of our registered children in Burkina Faso.

The lack of infrastructure in churches in Burkina Faso can sometimes make child development center implementation difficult.

Another challenge is that prices of goods remain high because Burkina Faso is a landlocked country. This means that money does not go as far.

We offer training to our church partners in Burkina Faso on issues such as financial management, holistic child development, proposal writing, child development center planning, child nutrition and other topics.

Child Development Through Sponsorship

Your sponsorship of a child in Burkina Faso provides a variety of benefits.

  • Meeting Weekly

    Primary schools do not hold school on Thursday because that is when the younger children go to the child development centers. Secondary school children go to the child development centers on Saturdays.

    • 3 to 5 year olds: 8 hours on Thursday
    • 6 to 8 year olds: 8 hours on Thursday
    • 9 to 11 year olds: 8 hours on Thursday
    • 12 to 14 year olds: 4 hours on Saturday
    • 15 to 22 year olds: There are no 15-22 year olds in our program at this time
      because it is still relatively new.
  • Nutritional Support

    Each child receives breakfast, which consists of milk, bread and porridge, and lunch, which consists of rice, beans, sagabo (a local food made of millet or corn flour) and spaghetti on the day they come to the center.

    Additional nutritional support such rice, maize and oil is provided for extremely needy families such as those affected by HIV.

  • Vaccinations

    In the case of an epidemic, the government will give free vaccinations at the public health center. In other cases, our ministry in Burkina Faso purchases the vaccines and hires nurses to administer them to the children.

  • Extracurricular Activities or Community Service

    Extracurricular activities offered include camps and field trips to museums and national parks. The children also have the opportunity to do community service such as planting trees and cleaning at the child development center and in the community.

  • Vocational Activities

    Several areas of vocation-focused activities are offered to older children including mechanics, hair dressing, sewing, soap making, gardening and animal breeding.

    We offer activities that the children are interested in as well as activities that will expose them to something new and will be profitable in our area. If a child wants to learn a skill that is not offered, Implementing Church Partners will make an effort to make that training available.

    The children learning these skills are too young to need job placement at this time, and there is no plan for job placement assistance in the future.

  • Parent Involvement

    We have parents’ classes on hygiene, malaria prevention, reproductive health and nutrition two or three times a year depending on funds available.

    We provide training on income-generating activities, such as food and grain selling and tool provision, and we offer HIV testing which is part of the voluntary counseling and testing program.

    We are planning to expand toward the north and south, taking into consideration poverty level, church preparedness and denominational diversity.

  • Complementary Interventions Program

    Our core child sponsorship program, while comprehensive, does not address all obstacles to a child’s healthy development. The Complementary Interventions Program was created to work with our holistic child development model to provide additional services such as our AIDS Initiative, funds for Bibles for All Children, disaster relief and water projects.

    Typical Complementary Interventions in Burkina Faso include provision of clean water, shelter, health, playgrounds, farming, toilets, disaster relief, food and income-generating activities.

    Highly Vulnerable Children

    Children in Burkina Faso are deemed to be highly vulnerable when they experience one or more of the following situations:

    • Caregiver deprivation and incapacitation
    • Abuse and exploitation
    • Disability and special needs

    Most of our needs for highly vulnerable children in Burkina Faso center around food, accommodation, clothing, health monitoring, nutritional and educational support and counseling.

9 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    bobbie August 9, 2011

    I received a note recently about the flooding in Burkina Faso. Did you see much damage from that?

    1. Avatar
      Jacquie Parella August 9, 2011

      Hi Bobbie! We have information about the flooding in Burkina Faso on our crisis update page. I also received an update that said, despite damage to the affected Child Development Centers, they are still holding regular activities. Our development centers are incredible aren’t they? No heavy rain is going to stop them. 🙂 Jacquie

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    Gail July 31, 2011

    Very informative and well written. Thanks for taking us into life in Burkina Faso 🙂

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    Karen July 29, 2011

    We recently began sponsoring a 12 yo girl in Burkina Faso and are praying that one day the Lord will allow us to go visit her! The sadness in her eyes breaks my heart, but I am praying that through sponsorship she will find hope!

  4. Avatar
    Laura Dorsey July 29, 2011

    What a great article, so informative and helps to know how to be praying. Thank you for writing this. I was struck by the very same thing-that the diet has little nutritional value and I wonder how a child could do well in school with the lack of vitamins and minerals in his body. As you have said here, it is the basics of life that are even difficult to meet. Lord help these people and cause more people who know You to come into this area to minister, spreading your gospel. Protect the ones who are there and give them strength Lord!

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    Nathan Cary July 29, 2011

    Regarding diet, it dawned on me that there was no mention of meats and fruit. Also, most of the veggies mentioned were high carbohydrate ( rice, potatoes, maize, bread). Is there no access to carrots, yams, beets, lettuce, spinach and herbs?
    To answer my own question, I must consider the availability of water to grow these.
    Is adequate water a problem?

    1. Avatar
      Jacquie Parella July 29, 2011

      Hi Nathan! We have even more info about Burkina Faso on our website. Here is some info we share there:

      “Most food in Burkina Faso comes with sauce. Staple foods are sorghum, millet, rice, maize, peanuts, potatoes, beans, yams and okra. Meat is not eaten often in the villages. Instead, villagers eat eggs and fish. Some fresh vegetables and fruits are available in towns. ”

      Lack of safe drinking water is a problem for Burkina Faso, especially in their dry season.

      1. Avatar
        Nathan Cary July 29, 2011

        Thank you.

        1. Avatar
          Jacquie Parella July 29, 2011

          Absolutely! 🙂

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