Two communities take flight
Kougri and Banembanto in Burkina Faso both graduate from the CCFC program
“A bird is safe in its nest — but that is not what its wings are made for.”
— Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird
MARKHAM, Ont. — One of the challenging aspects of child sponsorship is learning to let go.
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) works in communities where children and families need support. To start, we provide infrastructure, such as schools and medical clinics. In time, we strengthen community skills and leadership, fostering sustainability. This doesn’t happen overnight, but like every coming-of-age story, the time comes when one must step back and watch a community take flight. At CCFC, we call this community graduation.
This month, we are celebrating two graduating communities in the West African nation of Burkina Faso: Kougri and Banembanto.
Kougri — less than one hour from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou — was home to 871 sponsored children. CCFC, working with community groups, has seen significant progress:
- 540 people received training on how to improve crop yields and household income;
- there has been an 85-percent reduction in waterborne diseases in the past three years, since people now have access to safe water and family latrines;
- nearly 800 girls received training in reproductive health, and can access feminine hygiene kits;
- more than 3,000 people learned how to protect against preventable diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS; and
- 1,500 people learned about child rights and the importance of child protection.
With 1,141 children sponsored through CCFC, Banembanto has seen similar successes:
- Nearly 1,500 community members were given access to clean drinking water;
- parents of sponsored children were given the tools and skills to start modest income-generating businesses;
- children were given access to regular medical checkups and health care;
- 2,000 children and adults were trained on child protection; and
- 250 community members learned about environmental conservation through tree-planting.
Along with our donors, CCFC has much to celebrate. Now that these communities can thrive without CCFC support, we can move on to new areas in Burkina Faso and begin the process of community development all over again.
Success stories: (top) Education is an important part of CCFC’s work in communities like Banembanto, Burkina Faso; goats provide income and food to families in Kougri, Burkina Faso