Official Peace Corps Information on Burkina Faso Programs

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Burkina Faso: Peace Corps Burkina Faso : Web Links for Burkina Faso: Official Peace Corps Information on Burkina Faso Programs

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 1:17 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Information on Burkina Faso Programs

Peace Corps Information on Burkina Faso Programs

According to Ministry of Education statistics, Burkina Faso devotes 24 percent of its budget to education. Even so, only 19 percent of the population are literate and only 38 percent of eligible children attend primary school. Burkina Faso ranks among the poorest countries in the world; fortunately, foreign investment and private sector development are on the increase. Health care remains poor and many diseases, such as malaria and malnutrition, are endemic.

The Peace Corps resumed work in Burkina Faso in FY 1995 after an eight-year absence. Volunteers provide assistance in the areas of health and education, which are priorities of the government of Burkina Faso.

In September 1997, the first group of Volunteers assigned to the Ministry of Education arrived at both urban and rural sites to teach secondary school English, math, and science, and university-level English as a second language. Volunteers encourage girls to excel in mathematics and science, which traditionally have been limited to boys. Counterparts and Volunteers work together to raise awareness about the need for gender equity.

To support the efforts of the government of Burkina Faso in the area of girls' education, the Peace Corps organized its first ever "Take our Daughters to Work Day" in May 1999. It was a successful nationwide activity that paired girls from rural secondary schools with Burkina women mentors from various professional backgrounds, who took them to their work places and served as their role models. The Ministry of Education highlighted the event at local, regional, and national levels as one of the most important girls' education activities of the year. The initiative exposed the girls to science and technology and to a variety of career options available to them in Burkina Faso. In addition, the activities helped to develop gender awareness among male and female students, counterpart teachers, parents, and other community members.

Volunteers are assigned to the Ministry of Health to promote health education in village clinics and to revitalize the primary health care system. Volunteers work with local communities to strengthen local health management committees and to develop health promotion programs on such priority concerns as childhood communicable diseases, malaria, HIV/AIDS education, and Guinea worm eradication.

Peace Corps Volunteers in the health sector work with the head nurses of local clinics to manage immunization. Activities include scheduling vaccination trips, participating in monthly immunization outreach programs, and ensuring that data is collected regarding immunization coverage. Approximately 2,500 women and 6,000 children benefit from these programs every year.

In 2000, Volunteers organized a successful Community AIDS Prevention Competition in collaboration with the National AIDS Committee. Fifty-eight Volunteers organized competitions at their sites throughout Burkina Faso, in both small rural villages and large urban centers, with one to nine groups competing at each site. Participants from 250 villages represented a diverse range of socio-economic groups: farmers, primary and secondary school students, men's and women's groups, and religious associations. Each competing team created their own AIDS message, using song, dance, poetry, and theater, adapted to fit their own local language and social and cultural context.

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.