Where We Work

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

  • Praise God for a peaceful start to the new school year in November as children returned to class; for the first time in several years, there have been no student strikes and no terrorist attacks to delay the school year.
  • Pray for God’s protection on the staff and leaders of Compassion Burkina Faso and the local child development centre staff as they travel in different parts of the country. Pray also for many local church partners who are seeking to recruit new program staff and tutors for the children.
  • Please pray for Jacqueline, a Compassion assisted girl who has been suffering from heart disease and will undergo heart surgery. Pray for her travels, as she has to be treated overseas, and for her surgery to go well. Pray for healing in her recovery and strength for her family.
  • Praise God for recent rains and a good harvest season at the end of 2018; pray for the children’s families as they labour, that they will have enough food and that God will provide for their needs.
  • Pray for President Kaboré and for the incoming Prime Minister and cabinet; pray that they will govern responsibly and with compassion for the most vulnerable. Pray for wisdom as they lead their nation through a time of great challenge.