Latest update

Active COVID-19 cases in Burkina Faso totaled 1,146 on February 4th 2021. The country is also facing a devastating humanitarian crisis. Escalating instability and violence have led to the internal displacement of over 1 million people – at least half of whom are children in need of education assistance. Many are without clean water, food, shelter or medical care. It is estimated that 3.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. 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?

    At this point, some centres in Burkina Faso are hosting small group activities and classes while following safety protocols, depending on the region.

    Staff members continue to make phone calls and home visits to children and caregivers. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute about 533,000 food packs and 419,000 hygiene kits to children and their families! Local staff continue to work to raise awareness of COVID-19 preventative measures. They also have helped nearly 84,000 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 join us in praying for the following:

  • Wisdom for the doctors as they treat the infection in 17-year-old Dominique.
  • God would keep a young boy and girl diagnosed with HIV.
  • God heal Mandja’s mother so she can continue to care for her daughter.
  • The protection and safety of the 150 children and families who have been recently displaced.
  • God would keep the BF0205 staff safe as they continue to serve and support the children and families in their village.
  • The success of all the Christmas celebrations in Burkina Faso. Pray for strength for the staff as they organise and plan a safe way to celebrate Christmas with the children.
  • God’s peace and hand would continue to be on the election process.
  • God would bless the National Office staff and their families during this holiday season.
  • There would be peace, unity and economic stability and growth in 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 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.

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

As millions of Burkinabes struggle to meet their daily needs, 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.

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