Ending Hunger in Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso has some of the lowest statistics in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and income.

In Burkina Faso the average time a child spends in school is just over one year, and close to 50 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. Approximately 90 percent of Burkina Faso’s 20.9 million people are engaged in subsistence agriculture, but many lack access to modern farming techniques. Droughts, increasing desertification and other effects of climate change have severely impacted agricultural activities and the economy. 

This land-locked country is located in Western Africa, bordered by Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali and receives on average just 31 inches of rain annually. Burkina Faso gained independence from France in 1960, and following a period of unrest has had a fragile democracy under President Blaise Compoare. 

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The Hunger Project’s work in Burkina Faso 

In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicenter Strategy. An epicentre is a dynamic centre of community mobilization and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Communities launch and run their own programs to address their most pressing challenges. For example, epicentre communities work together to address health and nutrition, access to clean drinking water and sanitation, education and literacy, food security, microfinance, climate change and women’s and youth’s empowerment! 

Donating to The Hunger Project can help end hunger in Burkina Faso 

Through the Epicenter Strategy, 15,000 – 25,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages, giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have while also increasing a community’s ability to collectively utilize resources. The epicentre building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organizations. Over an eight-year period, an epicentre addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project. 

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Epicentres to end hunger in Burkina Faso 

The Hunger Project Burkina Faso is comprised of 15 epicentre communities. Together these epicentres serve a population of about 303,893 people in 189 villages. The Hunger Project has been working in Burkina Faso since 1997 and is currently empowering community partners in 15 epicentre areas to end their own hunger and poverty. These include serving 189 villages and a population of 303,893.  

Of the 15 active epicentres, Boulkon Epicentre has graduated to the phase of “sustainable self-reliance” and, between 2014-2016, was able to halve the proportion of households living below the poverty line. The gains were particularly strong for women, where the proportion of female business owners increased 600% over that time period, from just 5% in 2014 to 35% in 2016! Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with community partners to successfully access the basic services needed to lead lives of self-reliance and achieve internationally agreed-upon markers of success, such as the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Partnering with Her Choice 

Since launching, the epicentre program in Burkina Faso, it has continued to thrive by spearheading holistic initiatives that sustainably address the needs of changing and growing rural communities. For example, in 2016 The Hunger Project Burkina Faso launched activities as part of an 11-country partnership to end child marriage. The partnership is in alliance with a group called Her Choice, which involves several organisations dedicated to creating child-marriage free communities in which girls are able to decide if, when and whom to marry. 

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