Latest update

In Burkina Faso, local children are at increasing risk of malnourishment due to the global food crisis. Compassion’s holistic child development programs are designed to be adapted to suit the local context and needs. In Burkina Faso, the current primary areas of focus for our church partners are:

  • Providing children in poverty with access to nutritious food
  • Equipping youth with resources to give them the best chance of finding employment in the future
  • Educating families on good hygiene practices to help protect them from diseases
  • Protecting children from abuse and violence
  • Supporting caregivers with income generation activities and long-term food security

In some areas of Burkina Faso, unrest and instability have impacted how our local church partners deliver programming. The safety and wellbeing of children, families, staff and volunteers is paramount. Staff remain committed to finding creative ways to serve local children and ensure their critical needs are met.

Watch the latest video update from Burkina Faso below to learn more.

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Country update

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for the children, families and local church partners we serve in Burkina Faso.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for employment opportunities for caregivers who are struggling to find work and earn income.
  • Pray that God would provide for the people of Burkina Faso as food prices rapidly increase.
  • Pray that God would bring restoration to those who have experienced, or are experiencing, forms of abuse.
  • Pray over the new Compassion child development centres in Burkina Faso.
  • Pray that God would provide for the needs of the people affected by inflation, drought, poor harvests and political instability.
  • Pray for the restoration of security throughout Burkina Faso and the protection of children, families and staff.
Overcoming hunger in Burkina Faso

Overcoming hunger in Burkina Faso

In Fabrice’s village, everything is dry. Each year, his community endures eight long months without rain. Life is hard for families like Fabrice’s, who rely on farming for their income. It is nearly impossible to grow their own food, and rising food costs mean children risk going hungry. But our local church partner in Burkina Faso was able to drill a well to give families access to a clean water source.   Read more open_in_new

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Burkina Faso

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Thursdays.
  • Children aged 12 to 14 attend the centre for four hours on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Students aged 15 and older attend for the centre for four hours on Saturdays.

Compassion Program Activities in Burkina Faso

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Compassion assisted children in Burkina Faso typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Thursdays and Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Burkina Faso.

9:00am - A time of prayer, devotion and breakfast. Breakfast usually consists of milk, bread and porridge.

9:30am - Spiritual lessons where children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time where children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children who often come from challenging home environments are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. Children are usually provided lunch which consists of rice, beans, sagabo (a local food made using millet or corn flour) and spaghetti. Additional nutritional support such as rice, maize and oil is provided for families in extreme need, such as those affected by HIV.

1:00pm - Health lessons where children are taught practical health and hygiene tips. Example topics include how to prevent malaria and HIV transmission.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests, and set goals for their future.

In addition to Compassion’s curriculum, from the age of 12, students receive vocational training in areas like mechanics, hairdressing, sewing, soap making, gardening and animal breeding. Parents are offered income generation activities and training on topics such as hygiene, malaria prevention, reproductive health and nutrition.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Burkina Faso


of people live in extreme poverty


of children under 5 are experiencing stunted growth


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Burkina Faso, previously known as Upper Volta, was part of French West Africa from 1896 until 1960. In 1984, the country changed its name to Burkina Faso which means 'the country of upright people'.

Burkinabè people are known for having a jovial attitude and a great sense of humour. People are quick to stop what they’re doing to help one another. In a society where many people cannot read or write, oral tradition is central to the culture. Stories are passed from generation to generation. There is also a strong literary history which is promoted in schools and includes works by well-known writers like Augustin Sondé Coulibaly, Jean Baptiste Somé and Monique Ilboudo.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. The most vulnerable local communities struggle to access basic infrastructure and resources such as health and education. Over one-fifth of children under 5 suffer from growth stunting and malaria is a leading cause of death.

The overwhelming majority of local people make their living from subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to drought, floods, land degradation and, in recent times, locust plagues.

Burkina Faso has a very young population: 43 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. As millions of Burkinabe people struggle to meet their daily needs, the ever-present threats of food and water scarcity across the nation make life more tenuous. Poor health is also a significant barrier to Burkina Faso’s development.

Local churches in Burkina Faso are making sustainable changes in their own communities to see vulnerable children rise from poverty.

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