Recent years in Burkina Faso have seen more destruction than ever. Terrorist attacks and the displacement of millions have made the path ahead difficult. For many Burkinabés, it feels like dark and unknown terrain.
How God is Moving
Amidst misfortune, the resilient, nine-year-long partnership between Edify and Betser Evangelical School has stood strong. Through this partnership, God has gracefully paved the way and brought light to each next footstep. This partnership has stood out alongside the dedication of Christian Transformation and Training Officer Claudia Sawadogo. It has ultimately led Betser Evangelical School, nestled in the village of Samandeni, to flourish as new life grows in Burkina Faso. Claudia Sawadogo joined Edify in 2019 after realizing her heart for education. She began by serving as a Sunday school teacher, and her heart for education grew. Over time, she quickly developed a strong relationship with Betser school who, against all odds, remained committed to following God’s path.
The Ripple Effect
While attending an Edify training, Conditions for Learning, a fellow proprietor shared his recent success in changing the school’s physical environment. Replaced windows and fresh paint opened up new segues for students to engage in a positive and healthy learning environment. More students began to enroll in the school as the community began to take notice. Much to his surprise, this small act of faith would inspire many others. Specifically, Rufin Ouédraogo, proprietor of Betser Evangelical School, was led toward a new, creative path of implementing a school garden.
“The training we received inspired us to implement a school garden. We intentionally involved students in its management, creating the necessary space for the school to expand operations,” Rufin enthusiastically explained.
This lesson taught the students the tedious and beautiful journey of gardening. Alongside this, it taught them how to participate in the process of growth. The teachers took it a step further to show the importance of sustainability for future generations. They taught on entrepreneurship, using the practice of selling the fruits and vegetables they grew. Rufin reflects on the ripple effect that this garden has had not only on the students, but on themselves as leaders.
Rufin comments more on the impact, “All that God has done to us through Edify is unmeasurable. What fascinated my wife and me was Edify’s culture of excellence. This challenges us to use our few resources to invest in the school, making it intentionally attractive.”
Community Wide Impact
To further this ripple effect, parents all over the community have begun to see the school’s commitment to excellence. To this day, more and more parents are making the decision to send their children to Betser. Claudia even shared about a recent visit to Betser, where the team had spoken for hours on the projects and vision they had for the school.
Long term, the school’s vision is to create a sustainable income from the farm to support the school. In a world where destruction is all around, one school is teaching students how to flourish by planting something beautiful. With God’s hand, new life grows in Burkina Faso.