Burkina Faso faces a number of development challenges, including widespread illiteracy and difficulties meeting the needs of a rural population, 80% of whom rely on agriculture to survive. The rapid spread of HIV and AIDS has affected the country’s very high morbidity and mortality rates (notably among mothers and children). But over the last ten years, strong collaboration between government and civil society helped to prevent new HIV infections. Burkina Faso’s HIV prevalence rate has fallen from 7.17% to 1.2%.
WUSC is active throughout Burkina Faso, with a focus on strengthening skills and increasing resources among local partners who are addressing HIV and AIDS, as well as related health issues. This work includes: prevention services, support for and access to care for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. WUSC also helps partners mobilize resources for those who need them most. We support partners as they improve governance of their organizations and train more professional staff.
Since WUSC became active in Burkina Faso, a dozen organizations have increased their skills and have more resources to act on development issues, with the help of nearly 200 volunteers. Women have improved their knowledge and skills in various areas of support. New medical, social and economic development services were set up to help communities, while existing services were improved. In addition, numerous partnerships with funders were built to support various development projects in the country.
Partners in Burkina Faso are applying the lessons learned working with HIV and AIDS to other health issues. WUSC is moving forward with its civil society partners to improve the health of mothers, their newborns and older children.
The government of Burkina Faso has created space for civil society partners to contribute to local development issues. Community service organizations have been able to respond to needs and fill service gaps because they work closely with people. They are dedicated to their work, but they also must increase their capacity to continue these programs and make them sustainable.
WUSC strengthens local partners through the support of volunteers, which contributes to each organization’s professional development plan. This work also helps each agency to build their financial and human resources. During our work in the country, we’ve learnt:
- The cumulative effect of a series of interventions means better development: 2 or 3 volunteers and/or trainees working in the same sector helps to consolidate expertise and improves the quality of the intervention.
- Combining several actions boosts results: for example, results-based management + seeking funding + advocacy + project development = more projects developed, more partners and financing obtained.
- Sectoral committees bring together several actors working in similar issues. This encourages
- More involvement/participation and responsibility of partners in implementing the program,
- Better collaboration of partners on shared projects,
- Better collaboration/synergy with others working on similar issues and
- More consultation and communication.