Village leaders discussed the issue of malnutrition in Nebrou in the Center-West Province with a Peace Corps volunteer. The group embarked upon a plan to address this problem by committing themselves to building two gardens, one at the primary school and another at the local health center (COGES). Other goals are to educate the local population about better nutrition and local farmers about modern cultivation techniques. Produce harvested at the school’s garden provides fresh vegetables for student lunches.
Burkina Faso’s educational system rarely, if ever, exposes students to computers or teaches them IT skills at the village level. In 2015, a PCV posted a project on the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) platform to address this vacuum in the village of Yelbouga. His proposal, developed in collaboration with the principal of Yelbouga’s middle school, created a library resource center.
Public libraries can make a huge difference in the lives of villagers, both young and old. School-age and school-attending youth benefit the most from their use of community libraries because the access to books enables them to deepen their education on their own. In recent years, FBF has teamed up with the Friends of African Village Libraries and Peace Corps volunteers (to build and equip community libraries in the villages of Niankorodougou (2008). Pobe-Mengao (2009), and Béléhédé (2011).
At the request of local leaders in Lanfiera, a PCV submitted a proposal to FBF to purchase books for the three primary schools in the village. In 2013, FBF provided funding to buy books for these schools and also funded a teachers’ workshop. The workshop provided a venue for teachers to exchange ideas about how to become more effective instructors in the classroom.
Community leaders in Yelbouga requested assistance from a PCV to help build a pharmacy adjacent to the local health clinic. The volunteer sought and received funding from FBF to purchase material needed for construction. The pharmacy opened in 2013. It now provides an accessible source of medication (e.g., ibuprofen, penicillin, malaria prophylaxis, etc.) to local residents and adjacent villages.
In 2012 and 2013, the Lycée Provincial à Koudougou (LPK) developed an innovative computer-science curriculum, thanks to the leadership of I.T. faculty members a Peace Corps volunteer (PCV) assigned to the high school as well as some financial and technical support from the Friends of Burkina Faso. During this two-year period, over 250 students acquired basic computer skills and were exposed to the Internet for the first time. Enterprising students became teaching assistants. Others learned how to repair computers and/or helped manage the lab.
Moringa is the name of a “miracle tree,” originally imported from India, which grows well in savanna regions of West Africa. Food prepared containing moringa ingredients is an affordable and nutritious source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Moringa leaves and powder are a valuable and enriched food source during portions of the year when fresh vegetables are not available. In collaboration with PCVs and local farmers in the village of Ténado, FBF resources helped launch a seedling nursery in 2009-10.
The community of Koukouldi acquired a deep bore well at the local primary school, thanks to PCV activism and FBF financial support in 2009. The well provides potable water for students at the school as well as for neighboring residents.
During the early 2000s, PCVs conducted leadership camps in communities throughout Burkina for teenage women who had successfully graduated from the 9th grade with their BEPC certificates. The primary purposes of the camps, under a program called Que Serons-Nous Demain?, were to broaden young women’s understanding of the life choices they face, build their self-esteem and self-confidence, and broaden their life and professional goals.
The first project funded from FBF’s newly created “Projects account” in 2002 financed the costs of hardware needed to connect electrical lines at the edge of Garango to the local high school. Breaker boxes, electrical cables, and needed fixtures enabled electricity to reach every room in the school. The provision of electricity enhanced teaching and learning. Lighting became available for faculty tutoring of students, adult education classes, and extra-curricular activity in the evening.