Latest update

It has been difficult to gain an accurate understanding of the spread of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso as testing has been extremely limited. Despite the uncertainty of case numbers, the impact of the pandemic has been evident in the nation’s increased widespread lack of food, shelter and medical care. Women and children have been especially vulnerable to exploitation, violence and malnutrition.

Heavy rains and continued unrest in parts of the country compounded the challenges of the pandemic. Thousands of families became displaced or without income. Local church partners in Burkina Faso have worked hard to continue providing support to children during this time. Many child development centres have now resumed normal activities, while some continue to meet in small groups or conduct home visits.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, local church partners have delivered more than 663,000 food packs and 681,000 hygiene kits to benefit families.

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

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Country update

Crisis Reports from Burkina Faso

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    Military coup in Burkina Faso 24 Jan, 2022

    The situation

    On January 24th, a military coup took place in the capital city of Burkina Faso. Members of the Burkinabe military announced their control of the country and declared a new leader. We are grateful to report that our programs continue to operate as normal in Burkina Faso and we have not received reports of direct impact to any Compassion assisted children.

    We are in regular contact with our National Director in Burkina Faso and are evaluating ways we can best support our church partners during this season. Compassion staff members on the ground are trained to assess and provide appropriate and timely support to those in need. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as we are able.


    Please pray for our 362 church partners in Burkina Faso during this volatile and uncertain time. We ask you to pray with us for wisdom and discernment for government officials and military. Pray that Compassion children and families would experience peace, not fear or confusion. Pray for the wisdom and well-being of Compassion staff.

How is Compassion currently operating in Burkina Faso?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Many centres in Burkina Faso are still hosting small group activities and classes, while some have been able to fully reopen.

    Staff members continue to make phone calls and conduct home visits to children and caregivers in communities where there are active outbreaks.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in Burkina Faso, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Burkina Faso, although they are currently delayed. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Burkina Faso who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances. Please continue to pray for medical staff as they care for patients. Pray for the provision of the resources and strength they need.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that God would continue to help Catherine and Grace progress in their cognitive development, with the support of their families, staff and medical professionals.

  • Pray for a safe and successful operation for a young girl's legs.

  • Pray that God would keep Gedeon safe and provide him with the food and medical care he needs to thrive.

  • Pray for the health and protection of parents and caregivers who work in unsafe gold mines in order to provide for their families.

  • Pray for wisdom for children who are preparing to take their final exams.

  • Pray that God would keep the local staff safe as they continue to care for children living in poverty.

  • Pray that God would be with the youth participating in a national competition as they share their talents to bless others.

  • Pray that God would continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso.

  • Pray that God would bring peace and unity to the country of Burkina Faso.

Born during a pandemic in Burkina Faso

Born during a pandemic in Burkina Faso

Say hello to baby Grace from Burkina Faso! Born in the middle of a lockdown, this cutie’s delivery story is quite the tale! With a national curfew from 7pm to 5am in place, there was a big chance that Grace’s mum, Celine, would not be able to get to a hospital to deliver her baby.   Read more open_in_new


Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Burkina Faso are operating a little differently. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based or small-group care where needed.

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 lack access to improved sanitation


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Burkina Faso is home to over 21 million people, spread across more than 60 different ethnics groups that each have their own social and cultural distinctions. 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: 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. 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.

As millions of Burkinabes 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. 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 one of the highest infant mortality rates of all of countries in which Compassion works, with approximately 50 infants dying for every 1000 born.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

13 Mar, 2019

Meeting for the First Time: 14 Beautiful Photos of Sponsor Visits

It’s one of those human experiences that words cannot describe: meeting someone you’ve loved after years of ongoing friendship. We hope these precious captured moments of Compassion supporters meeting their sponsored children brings you joy, and an insight into these meaningful moments. Warning: tissues may be required! .. Read more

31 Jan, 2019

Hello, Yaaba: Meet the Extraordinary Cook Who Feeds Hundreds of Children Every Week

Maton Baro wakes at 5am every Friday and walks to the local markets in her neighbourhood in sprawling Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city. As the sun rises, she marches between the stalls, greeting the farmers and haggling good-naturedly over prices. She’s on a weekly mission to buy all the fresh ingredients she needs to feed hundreds of children at the nearby River of Love Child Development Centre (BF0450)... Read more

02 Jun, 2020

Will COVID-19 Lead to Increased Poverty?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left millions struggling with unemployment and uncertainty. But what will it mean for our world's most vulnerable citizens—children living in poverty?.. Read more