Latest update

Active COVID-19 cases in Burkina Faso were reported to be 200 on 5th April, but the true figure may be higher because testing is limited to about 2000 rapid tests a day. In some hospitals, resources are low for non-COVID-19 patients because budgets have gone toward fighting the virus, so hospital staff have been paying for those resources themselves. Some medical staff have left the north and east parts of the country to escape instability and unrest that have led to the internal displacement of over 1 million people. Many are without clean water, food, shelter or medical care. Famine-like conditions have been reported, and aid workers say half a million children under age 5 are acutely malnourished. As the situation continues to develop, women and children are especially vulnerable to exploitation, violence and malnutrition.

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COVID-19 in Burkina Faso

How is Compassion currently operating in Burkina Faso?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most child development centers are allowing children to return in small groups for activities and classes while following safety protocols, but some are only able to make home visits and phone calls to check in on families.

    Local church partners have distributed over 565,500 food packs and 490,000 hygiene kits to families and continue to work to raise awareness of COVID-19 preventative measures. They also have helped nearly 92,000 individuals obtain medical care.

  • 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

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Burkina Faso remain temporarily closed. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

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.
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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

20%

of people lack access to improved sanitation

320

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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