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Snapshot of Burkina Faso


of people live below the poverty line


lack access to improved sanitation


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Even as millions of Burkinabes struggle to meet their daily needs, increased terrorist activity and the ever-present threats of food and water scarcity across the Sahel region make life more tenuous.

Poor health is a significant barrier to Burkina Faso’s development. Approximately 27 per cent of children in the country suffer from moderate or severe growth stunting caused by chronic malnutrition during early childhood. The country currently holds the highest infant mortality rate of all of countries in which Compassion works, with approximately 53 infants dying for every 1000 born.

The overwhelming majority of people make their living from subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to drought, floods, and in recent times, locust plagues. Burkina Faso has a very young population: 46 per cent is under 14 and two-thirds younger than 30 years old. Many young people are frustrated by the lack of opportunity for education and reliable work. Almost one-third of primary school-aged students aren’t enrolled; instead, they often work the land in an attempt to boost their family’s income. Older students struggle to find jobs on graduation—and their protests played a key role in the ouster of former President Compaoré in 2014.

The country also faces a growing threat posed by Islamic extremists, many based in neighbouring Mali and Niger; these insurgent groups have grown bolder in recent years, attacking military targets and murdering civilians with increased frequency. The Burkinabe government faced increasing pressure to respond and declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces on 31 December 2018. In early 2019, Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and his entire cabinet resigned from office. The new cabinet will have its work cut out to protect civilians as security deteriorates.

Ouali Palamanga

A letter from Compassion Burkina Faso Director Palamanga Ouali

Dear Sponsor, Warm greetings from Burkina Faso! I am Palamanga Ouali. I have been the Country Director of Compassion Burkina Faso for more than seven years. I am privileged to be a part of this God-ordained ministry to children. I am married to Liliane and the Lord has blessed us with three children: Yolanda, Jessica and Michael. My family and I love the Lord and we worship in a local church of the International Society of Missionaries of Ouagadougou, the capital city.

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Celia the Conqueror

Eight-year-old Celia Lompo is registered at the BF-209 SIM Church Child Development Centre in Fada N’gourma in Burkina Faso’s Est Province. In Celia’s community, when parents are unable to fund the education of all their children, priority is usually given to boys over girls. People believe girls will get married and leave the family, while boys will always be there to support them.

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Prayer requests for Burkina Faso

– Please pray for Irene, a compassion assisted girl who recently underwent heart surgery. By the grace of God, everything went well and she is now resting at home. She is receiving post-operative care and is recovering well.

– Please uphold Isidore in your prayers, as he recovers from his third surgery in France. Pray for healing and a quick recovery, so he can return to his family back home.

– Praise God for 9 new church partners in Tenkodogo. Pray for the families who have received the wonderful news that their children can now be registered to receive Compassion assistance. Pray for this life-changing impact to bring new hope and resilience to the families in these communities.

– Pray for peace and security in Burkina Faso and its neighbouring countries (Mali and Niger). Recently a church was attacked in Northern Burkina Faso, tragically killing six people. Pray ask God to comfort those who are grieving, and to bring healing and peace to the region.

– Please pray for the country’s leaders as they lead the nation through a time of increasing security challenges; particularly with terrorist attacks increasing. In December 2018 a state of emergency was declared in several provinces. Pray that they will govern responsibly and with compassion for the most vulnerable.

Stories from Compassion in Burkina Faso

01 Nov, 2018

24 Beautiful Photos Of How Sponsored Children Get Your Letters

Ever wondered how many hands, planes, buses, motorbikes or elephants it takes to deliver the letter that you’ve written to your sponsored child? Let’s take a look!.. Read more

12 Apr, 2018

What Possessions Do Children Living in Poverty Treasure Most?

From remote, isolated tribal communities to bustling cities and crowded slums, 10 children in our Child Sponsorship Program share their treasured possessions. These are their beautiful, surprising and funny answers... Read more

23 Apr, 2018

Have You Sent These Things to Your Sponsored Child?

Wondering what you can send to your sponsored child? Read on for the items you can include with your letters, plus learn what not to send... Read more