POSTED November 19, 2020
Our West Africa director’s message wins support from the Burkinabe PM
As Burkina Faso continues to face multiple challenges, Children Believe, in collaboration with our peers, is committed to helping those who need it most
By Patrice Zongo, communications manager, Burkina Faso
We’re constantly asking ourselves how our contribution to helping children reach their dreams can be even more effective. This is especially true in Burkina Faso where radical group attacks are displacing families, leading to rising poverty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christelle Kalhoulé, our director for West Africa, along with her peers around Burkina Faso, have been trying to address these challenges for almost five years now. “Our concern is hundreds of thousands of children are denied access to schools after their closure due to insecurity,” she says. “And to continue working for more solutions, conducting initiatives in the field that benefit children, we need more government support.”
Recently elected to chair the Board of the most influential civil society organization in Burkina — called the Permanent Secretariat of INGOs (SPONG) — Christelle had the chance to speak with government officials on behalf of these charitable organizations.
“The state is doing a good job. However, based on what is done in the field, there is a need for the state to take stronger leadership,” Christelle told Burkinabe Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabiré, along with members of his cabinet.
The Prime Minister welcomed the request, promising to take necessary measures to address country challenges. “Partners for development are very important for the development of the country, and the government will never fail to respond to their request,” he said.
In Burkina Faso, state records reveal development aid contributed about one-and-a-half-billion dollars to the country’s economy in 2019, positively affecting almost the entire nation.
So, the PM was grateful to all stakeholders represented in the discussion. “We appreciate the wonderful job you are doing,” he said, adding, “The government will do its best to ensure you are safe to work. However, we would like to make sure our involvement in the coordination of your intervention will neither deprive you of your independence nor expose you [to risk].”
And, the PM and his staff are committed to that promise. In fact, the highest authorities of the country fulfilled a pending decades-old request for SPONG to become an Organization of Public Utility. This status facilitates stronger partnerships with government agencies to better support the work.
To learn more about our work in Burkina Faso, and find out how you can help, visit childrenbelieve.ca/burkina-faso.
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
About ChildFund Alliance:
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in more than 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.