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Burkina Faso

Terre des hommes (Tdh) has been active in Burkina Faso since 1987 and carries out projects related to health, nutrition and child protection. In 2013, 500,000 people benefited from Tdh’s activities.


Burkina Faso is rich in history, culture and population diversity. Nevertheless, it is one of the least-developed countries in the world. The situation is complicated by a severe lack of infrastructures and high unemployment. The inaccessibility or complete lack of a healthcare system is a huge problem. Infant mortality is particularly high and malnutrition is widespread. Poverty forces many children to work, making them vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.

Centered at -1.561593 12.238333 6

The current situation

• 102, 444 children were identified as suffering from severe acute malnutrition
• 1 doctor for 23'450 habitants and 1 midwife for 12,702 mothers
• 38% of children aged between 5 and 14 work
• 570 minors were incarcerated in the prisons of Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso and Tougan

(Sources: Tdh, UNICEF, UNDP)

Tdh in Burkina Faso: Country Representative: David Kerespars • Tdh employees: 131 • Expatriate staff: 4• Areas of intervention: Bobo Dioulasso, Dédougou, Dori, Ouagadougou, Ouahigouya, Saag Nioniogo, Séguénéga, Titao, Toéni, Toma, Tougan, Yako, Zorgho • Partners: ECHO, EC, UNICEF, LED, SDC, TAIWAN, HCR, MEDICOR, USDOL, Tdh NL, Ministries of Social Action, Health and Justice, MI • 2014 Budget: CHF 3'935’107.-

Our intervention

Protection of working children – In addition to raising awareness, promoting education and implementing protective measures, Tdh works to strengthen traditional child protection mechanisms (identification, assistance, reintegration).

Health and nutrition – Tdh fights against severe malnutrition among children. Medical structures are strengthened to improve the quality of care. There is an increase in healthcare coverage thanks to free medical care for children under five years old as well as expectant and nursing mothers. Healthcare workers are assisted in their role of educating mothers about prevention, detection and follow-up care for children. Finally, Tdh contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the care given to children by providing computerization for health centres.

Juvenile justice – In 2009, Tdh launched a project aimed at improving procedures relating to justice for minors and promoting alternatives to detention within the community.

Protection for unaccompanied migrant minors – Tdh ensures protection for children who want or have to leave their home towns. They are accompanied by social workers who offer them protection when faced with the risks of exploitation, trafficking or bad treatment.

2013 Results

• 393,000 consultations were offered due to payment exemptions.
• In the seven districts it works in, 92% of children suffering from malnutrition have been cured.
• 625 girls at risk of migration and 1,815 children at risk of starting work in gold mines or stone quarries were kept in school.
• 302 maids have been protected .
•Working with Malian refugees, Tdh allowed 2,500 children to have access to protection services and 1,000 children to return to school.
• 119 children have been able to benefit from alternatives to prison (professional training, community service, family reintegration).

What Tdh can do with:

CHF 100.–
Pay for healthcare for 20 children under the age of five for one year.

CHF 200.–
Send 10 children to school who have been rescued from exploitation in quarries.

Remaining a child… even when far from home

When a child is given the “Go to jail” card

Stolen Childhood, a film by Mary Clapasson


Burkina Faso - Ada, Tdh beneficiary in Burkina Faso

In a tent in the Bobo 2010 quarter of the town of Bobo Dioulasso, a social worker from Tdh meets one of the children who have gone back to school despite the difficult situation. Ada, just 10 years old, fled from the conflict in northern Mail to become a refugee in Burkina Faso. Separated from...

- Burkina Faso - Ada, Tdh beneficiary in Burkina Faso

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