An Overwhelming Need
In a remote community in eastern Burkina Faso, children heading back to school crowd into a classroom, chattering, excited and eager to learn. There’s only one public school in the community, and it’s bursting at the seams.
But having so many children in one classroom makes it hard for the teacher to follow each student’s progress and ensure they have the support needed to progress during the school year. As a result, by grade six many children and teenagers’ marks are below the level required to move into upper grades. So they drop out.
There is no vocational school available in this tiny village. When a child leaves school, he or she has very few options. And the poorest children are most disadvantaged.
Students who fail their formal education often run away to work in traditional gold mining sites, where they face all kinds of risks. The work is backbreaking and dangerous, but many other threats lurk in the mining camps: child exploitation, child abuse, child labor and drug addiction. Specifically for young girls, the risks of child marriage or pregnancy are on the rise due to growing security issues in the region and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The future looks uncertain for children from low-income families, and they need urgent assistance.
A Pastor with a Plan
One man who sees the risks facing local children is Pastor Daniel. And he’s determined to do something about them.
He has a big heart for the well-being of women and children in desperate need — and a big vision to see the church rising to meet the community’s needs.
“The church represents fertile soil for children in the community. It means that when a seed falls at the church, it must grow and bear fruit. My vision for this community is that children can learn new skills and jobs that allow them to grow and flourish like seeds for the development of their families and the village,” says Pastor Daniel.