Radios, Solar lamps, and Educational Material for Refugee Families in Burkina Faso
Life in northern and eastern Burkina Faso has been virtually paralyzed by terrorism and the resulting critical security situation. The threat of Islamist attacks is on the increase, with jihadists seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region. Since 2019, almost a million people have been uprooted from their homes. The few remaining villages that are still inhabited are now home to thousands of internal refugees. Over a thousand schools have been closed or destroyed, and children and young people are at constant risk of being abducted and forcibly recruited as child soldiers. Parishes are deserted, and priests and catechists can no longer travel, except at risk of their lives.
Radio is the most important means of communication in this region. This was already the case before the crisis, since most people cannot read or write and even those who can read can only rarely get access to books, which are simply too expensive and difficult to obtain. This is the second poorest region in the country and the average monthly income is just $60 to $65. As a result, all communication between the various centers – whether in the area of development, education, reconciliation work, or healthcare advice – is conducted by radio. Now, since the escalation in the violence has meant that so many schools and parishes have had to be closed, radio plays a still more important part in the life of the people, while dealing with the pandemic remains an additional challenge.
Now, 800 Catholic refugee families, who have been forced to flee from the jihadist attacks, are delighted to have been given a radio, a solar lamp and a USB memory stick each, with pre-recorded catechetical and educational units for school-aged children. These families have lost everything and are in many cases cut off from the life of the Church and access to regular schooling, but your help of $27,800 – or $35 per family – has made a huge difference, making them feel much less isolated from Church and school.
Our heartfelt thanks to all our generous benefactors.
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