Protection and improvement in the quality of care for young victims and children at risk in Burkina Faso are some of the main challenges for Terre des hommes. With this in view, the Burkina Faso delegation held a workshop in Dori on 29th November to launch its network for protecting the youngsters in that region. The programme aims at strengthening the synergy between the various parties involved, improving the system of indexing of cases being managed, and bringing better efficiency to the overall supply of care. Key parties such as the courts, the police and representatives of decentralised structures demonstrated their commitment to it together with NGO representatives at the launching ceremony presided over by Nouzélé Kafando, Secretary General of Seno province.
According to Mr Kafando, the phenomena appeared or worsened some years ago, putting thousands of children in the province in danger. The exploitation of the mines, the massive presence of refugees from Mali, the lack of education for youngsters (in particular girls), the exodus of young people, delinquency, various forms of violence against children, are all issues causing concern in the area. This workshop, according to the speaker, organised to launch the activities of the network to protect youngsters in the province of Seno, brings a lot of hope with it. It will enable the individual situation of each child to be understood better, and to bring him/her the best response possible, taking into consideration his need for protection, his best interests and by making him/her an agent of his own development.
Becoming a force to take up the challenge
According to the Programme Head of the NGO Terre des hommes, Hermann Zoungrana, the organisation has been working at a provincial level in Seno since 2009. The work consists of direct help for the children labouring in the mines. “We have supported 200 youngsters for two years to give them job training. We also have activities for the refugee children from Mali in the province. Our work would spread like wildfire if we could support the youngsters directly and help other people move in the same direction”, he affirmed. He added that the goal is to get together a certain number of people involved with children in their assignments, i.e. the police, the courts, social workers, healthcare, and some NGOs, to take up the challenge. In terms of experience, Mr Zoungrana said that such networks already exist in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso, Tougan, Zorgho and Diapaga.
The idea of a network in Dori will make it possible to set up a provincial structure of members equipped with resources that can run activities with a certain number of partners from governmental and other humanitarian organisations.