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Peace Corps Burkina Faso History
The Peace Corps entered Burkina Faso, then called Upper Volta, in 1966 and operated here uninterrupted for 21 years. Major projects included forestry extension, young farmer education, small enterprise development, secondary education (math, science, and English language), water well construction, agricultural and environmental extension, arts and crafts, basketball coaching, and parks development. From in 1987 the Peace Corps program was phased out due to local political changes, but beginning in 1995 the new government requested the re-establishment of the program.
The program was re-launched with a group of 17 Public Health Volunteers, who began their service in Burkina Faso in December 1995. Peace Corps restarted its Secondary Education Project in June 1997 and began a Small Enterprise Development (SED) project in 2003. A Girls’ Education and Empowerment project was started in 2005 as a compliment to the existing Education project. In 2010, the SED project incorporated agriculture and environment activities to become the Environment project, while the Secondary Education and the Girls Education and Empowerment projects were consolidated into one Education project. In 2013, in response to heightened food security concerns throughout the country, the Environment project was re-designed to address the food security and livelihood needs of communities, effectively becoming the Community Economic Development (CED) project. Today, approximately 140 Volunteers are serving in Burkina Faso, and over 2100 Volunteers have served in Burkina Faso since Peace Corps first opened its program in 1966.
- Between 1966 - 1987 and 1995 - today, more than 2,100 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Burkina Faso.
- Currently, nearly 120 Volunteers are serving in Burkina Faso.
- Most Volunteers live in rural villages, with a small number, who tend to be 3rd Year Volunteers, living in regional or capital cities.
- 63% of our Volunteers are female.
- The average age is 26 years old, with 9 Volunteers over the age of 30, and 6 Volunteers over age of 60.
- Three programmatic areas: Health, Education and Community Economic Development (CED)
- HealthVolunteers work closely with their communities to address five priority areas:
- HIV/AIDS and prevention;
- Maternal and Child health and Nutrition;
- Family planning; and
- Volunteers address these community health concerns by working in collaboration with and through capacity building of local health workers, community health agents and community members.
- EducationVolunteers teach preschool; English, science, and math at primary and junior high schools; and promote improved learning, leadership and life skills among youth through extra-curricular activities such as tutoring, clubs and camps.
- Community Economic Development (CED) Volunteers work in collaboration with their community partners to improve the food security and livelihoods of local entrepreneurial farmers through improved business management practices of agriculture-based income-generating activities and improved post-harvest transformation and conservation activities.
- Volunteers from all sectors are also required to work on raising awareness on HIV/AIDS and its prevention and gender equality within their communities.
- 45 in-country staff: 4 Americans, 1 Cameroonian, and 40 Burkinabé are based in Ouagadougou, Leo and Bobo.
- Two training inputs/year
- The in-country budget for PC/BF in FY14 is $3.1 million in US dollars.
Award to Peace Corps Burkina
On Saturday, December 22, 2012 as a part of celebrations of the cultures and activities taking place in the many diverse communities within the country, the Government of Burkina Faso presented an award to Peace Corps. This award was recognition of the integration of Peace Corps volunteers within Burkina Faso communities, and in appreciation of the work done by PCV’s in their communities.
The award, called “Les Insignes de Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Burkinabe”, was presented in a ceremony in the capital, Ouagadougou, at the “Maison du Peuple” at the completion of a multi-day conference sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation.
We thank the Government of Burkina Faso its continued support to the Peace Corps and its Volunteers. We are very grateful to the communities of Burkina Faso for their appreciation of the work of Volunteers. We would like to express our gratitude to our partners for their exemplary collaboration.
View Projects » 2012 Annual Report - French » 2012 Annual Report - English » PC BF Brochure»