Celebrating ten years of mission in Burkina Faso
Article by the Communities of West Africa (Senegal/Burkina Faso).
Having arrived in Burkina Faso on December 3, 2011, at the end of this year the Communities of West Africa will celebrate ten years since we established the Bobo-Dioulasso Community in Burkina Faso.
From the initial three founding sisters, the community now has nine members of four different nationalities: Burkinabe, Malian, Filipino, and Indian (two of whom are studying in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso). In addition, there are two pre-novices and three pre-postulants living with the community to experience and share our way of life.
The temporary shelter offers accommodation and support to women and girls in need and their children.
We are happy and feel very blessed to carry out our mission here in Burkina Faso. Among the services we provide, we offer temporary shelter to women and girls in difficulty, women who have been abandoned by their husbands, pregnant girls who have been rejected by their families, and girls who have been victims of forced marriage. They are all welcome. The activities carried out in the refuge include regular meetings with the women, accompaniment, dialogue, education and training, psychologist appointments, group therapy, women's reintegration, family visits, and external referrals to those who offer support to women and girls in difficulty.
Women and girls who attend the cooking and pastry training center and receive support from the micro-credit financing scheme.
Our other services include a children’s daycare center with a nursery, a cooking and pastry training center (with 15-17 students), and a micro-credit financing scheme for vulnerable women in our neighborhood to support them to establish income-generating activities in line with their skills and abilities.
In addition, we provide prison ministry to women detainees. These activities include different discussions each month on themes such as human rights, family rights, legal procedures, abortion and its consequences, female genital mutilation and its consequences, and sexually transmitted infections. Each discussion ends with sharing on the Word of God and group prayer. Last month, in March, we began to offer sewing workshops to the women. We also attend mass with the women in the prison every Sunday.
During the pandemic, the sisters have provided food to those in need through ‘Project Solidarity’.
We do not receive any financial support from the State or from the Church for the expenses of the women and girls who are under our responsibility. We are able to carry out our work thanks to our benefactors, such as Missio, Harris Fraser, and Advent Actie. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity and solidarity towards those who are most vulnerable. As we celebrate our tenth year here in Burkina Faso, we look forward with hope to the next ten years and beyond.
“We invite you all to give thanks to the Lord for his wonders!”