By: Bryce Baca
Burkina Faso is the “land of incorruptible people.” It also has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Landlocked between six other countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso is home to over 20 million Burkinabés.
While “incorruptible,” Burkina Faso has a long history of political instability, food scarcity, and rising violence. Since February of 2021, the people of Burkina Faso have been victims of over 550 terror attacks. As a result, over 1.5 million Burkinabés have been internally displaced from their homes. And in January of 2022, a coup d’état ousted the former president in hopes of regaining stability in the country after the dramatic rise in these attacks.
The people of Burkina Faso have faced many challenges over recent months and years.
However, “God is at work in Burkina Faso!”, David Kabre (Burkina Faso Christian Transformation and Training Officer) confidently states while smiling ear-to-ear.
Progress in Burkina Faso
It’s estimated that 72% of young adults in Burkina Faso have not completed primary schooling and only about 1% have achieved a post-secondary degree. In 1996, UNESCO reported that only 12% of adults in Burkina Faso were able to read and write. In 2006, the literacy rate among adults 15 and older was 21%.
Edify has been partnering with schools in Burkina Faso since 2013. The literacy rate has continued to rise over the past 9 years, and Edify partner schools continue to grow. In a recent report, it was found that 40% of the population above 15 years old is now literate.
While there is still a long way to go, this is outstanding news! Improving and expanding Christ-centered education is what will transform nations like Burkina Faso.
Edify currently partners with approximately 350 Christ-centered schools in Burkina Faso offering business and teacher training, education technology, and loan capital. Violence across Burkina Faso has left many of these educators and school proprietors without a safe way to travel. Despite the armed conflict and displacement, teachers are traveling all over the country to receive training for their schools. They recognize the importance of high quality education and Christian transformation, so they are braving seemingly insurmountable challenges as they seek out the necessary resources to succeed and grow.
Although Islam continues to be the dominant religion, parents of all backgrounds are continuing to send their children to Christ-centered schools because they know that the quality of education is unsurpassed. Partner schools share the Good News inside the classroom, spilling it out into the community and to the rest of the nation. Thousands of children are having their lives transformed spiritually and intellectually.
What is True Transformation?
“God does not need our ability; he just needs our availability. Sometimes we are not capable or able to do things, but as soon as we are willing and available, God can use us to do anything.” Shares David.
David is leading with faithfulness and humility in his work as he seeks out partnerships in Burkina Faso. Through our lending partners and training partners, David is making connections all across the country. The Edify team in Burkina Faso is working alongside school proprietors to use new technologies that will train the next generation of business and community leaders. They are also partnering with lending institutions that give schools opportunities to expand their operations and improve their facilities. The world around may seem chaotic, yet God is at work transforming this nation thousands of students at a time.
It is not us that has power. It is Christ. It is not us who will change the world. It is Jesus and only Jesus. We know that true transformation can only come through the saving power of Christ. It is astounding that God allows us to partner with Him as He changes the world.
There is a new generation of children and teenagers growing up in Burkina Faso with high quality, Christ-centered education. These students will grow up to lead out in their families, in their communities, and ultimately lead their nation!
The future is bright for Edify partner schools as they continue to improve and expand all over the nation. Although there may be many challenges ahead, there is even greater hope for the nation of Burkina Faso!
To learn more about our impact in Burkina Faso, click here.