Vi er i Burkina Faso

Vi er i Burkina Faso

Some facts about Burkina Faso

Brother and sister holding hands, SOS Children's Village Ouagadougou - photo: SOS Archives
Brother and sister holding hands, SOS Children's Village Ouagadougou – photo: SOS Archives
Burkina Faso is home to an estimated 16 million, who predominantly belong to the Mossi, Fulani, Lobi or Bobo groups. The country is frequently hit by droughts which have a strong impact on the living conditions of tens of thousands of Burkinabe.

In August 1960, the country gained complete independence from France, but a number of military coups followed. It is now a semi-presidential Republic and a member of the African Union (AU). The country was known as "Republic of Upper Volta" until 1984.

Burkina Faso is an extremely poor country characterised by one of the lowest per capita GDPs in the world. Although the country is rich in gold, cotton production is the main pillar of the economy. Compared to other African nations, its industrial base is rather weak and natural resources are scarce. 90 per cent of the country's labour force work in the agricultural sector.

In 2011, widespread popular protests over police brutality, autocracy and rising food prices triggered international media attention. The protests were soon quieted by the authorities, who promised to make changes to the current constitution in order to make Burkina Faso a more democratic state.

Increasing poverty in spite of economic growth

Situation of the children in Burkina Faso

770,000 children in Burkina Faso are growing up without parental care. Thousands are orphaned by AIDS, and many more have been abandoned by their parents due to their precarious economic situation. Public health facilities do not exist or are in a terrible condition. At 90.8 per 1,000 live births, Burkina Faso's infant mortality rate is high and a large number of births are not attended by medical personnel.
Children playing traditional instruments, SOS Children's Village Dafra - photo: N. Nabiré
Children playing traditional instruments, SOS Children's Village Dafra Рphoto: N. Nabir̩
The high prevalence of HIV/AIDS also exacerbates child labour. As households lose their most productive members, the family income declines, much of it is spent on medical assistance and medication, so children are made to contribute financially. This often involves hazardous activities and sometimes even commercial sex work.

Thousands of young girls in Burkina Faso continue to suffer female genital mutilation (FGM). The operation is commonly carried out by traditional practitioners, mostly without anaesthetics or antiseptics. These women are significantly more likely to have problems during childbirth.

Access to schooling remains difficult in Burkina Faso, particularly in rural areas where the primary school attendance rate is low at only 25 per cent. Only a little more than a quarter of the population knows how to read and write.

SOS Children's Villages in Burkina Faso


Villages d'Enfants SOS du Burkina Faso
B.P. 1468
1 – Ouagadougou
Burkina Faso
Tel +226-50 34 61 31

Fax +226-50 34 61 33

Villages in Burkina Faso

  1. Bobo-Dioulasso
  2. Ouagadougou