Last Updated: 24/09/2020

Burkina Faso is facing what relief organizations call a triple crisis – COVID-19, widespread flooding and armed violence. These have led to increased malnutrition, especially among children, millions being displaced from their homes, and limited health care and nutrition resources in a time when they are needed the most.

All Compassion partner churches still have child development center group activities on hold, and they have readjusted their budgets to make sure children and families have food and hygiene items. The churches have distributed 436,926 food packs and 255,575 hygiene kits to families and continue to work to raise awareness of COVID-19 prevention. They also have helped 17,227 individuals access medical care. Some churches have helped families construct simple washing stations to use at their homes.

A Message From Compassion Burkina Faso’s National Director

Hear from Dr. Issaka Kiemtore, National Director of Compassion Burkina Faso, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Burkina Faso.

Updated: 20/08/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Burkina Faso?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Burkina Faso, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Burkina Faso are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 436,926 food packs and 255,575 hygiene kits to children and their families!

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 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. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. 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 be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Djénéba’s mother, Oumou, works hard to provide for her four children, selling firewood, beans and maize flour by the side of the road. Even before COVID-19 hit Burkina Faso, she struggled to make ends meet. The pandemic thrust the family into desperation.

"My business collapsed right after the first COVID-19 cases because people must stay at home,” says Oumou. As she struggled to put food on the table for her children, she was dealt a devastating blow. A fire started inside her home. The house was partially damaged and they lost almost everything they owned. The night following the disaster was a nightmare.

“I didn’t know what to do because the kids were crying at night for food and safety," says Oumou. "We slept on a plastic bag on the floor after removing the destroyed items from the house. Djénéba worried a lot about her school bag and her books that had become ashes.”

Twelve-year-old Djénéba is registered in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program. She knows she can get support and protection from the center, and she urged her mother to go see Compassion's church partner after the fire. As soon as staff heard about the family's situation, they took action. Using Disaster Relief funds, they provided support to see the family through the double crises of COVID-19 and the house fire. They gave the family household essentials, including soap, pots, bags of rice, clothing, sleeping mats, face masks and shoes. Among the supplies, Djénéba was excited to see a brand-new school bag and books to help her resume her studies.

“Life would have been more complicated for me and the kids without the support of the center," says Oumou. "I didn’t know how to buy new clothing for the children and replace Djénéba’s school supplies after the house burnt. The support of the church is like removing a thorn from my feet so I can walk without pain or fear.”

How can I pray for Burkina Faso?

Pray for the children of Burkina Faso, who are at a higher risk for violence now that they can’t attend school during the pandemic.

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