Burkina Faso

SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Burkina Faso)

Burkina Faso is a country in West Africa with a population of over 20 million. It is among the poorest countries in the world, with an extremely low per capita income. Its industrial base is rather weak and the vast majority of the country's labour force works in agriculture. Many people rely on farming to produce their own food. However, recurring drought makes this difficult and leads to famine. Flooding has destroyed houses and infrastructure in the past, meaning that many people live in very poor conditions. Furthermore, HIV/AIDS and other public health challenges remain widespread. Children growing up in these circumstances are in need of support.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Burkina Faso since 1997.

Children are at risk

Around 770,000 children in Burkina Faso are growing up without parental care. Thousands have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, and many more live in families that face precarious economic situations. In many cases, children do not get enough food to grow properly. Some children have to work to contribute financially instead of going to school. Access to schooling remains difficult, particularly in rural areas where the primary school attendance rate is very low. Public health facilities are lacking or are in very poor condition, which leads to a high infant mortality rate, amongst other issues.
Children do not grow healthily

Floods and droughts

In recent years, massive flooding forced thousands of Burkinabe to leave their homes. More than 50,000 people lost everything in the floods and had to live in tents and shacks across the country. Hundreds of schools and a number of hospitals were destroyed by the floods. At the same time, the country is frequently hit by droughts. This has a strong impact on the living conditions of tens of thousands of Burkinabe. Many people rely on farming to produce their own food, but drought means that they are at risk of undernutrition and rely on food aid. This is particularly problematic for children. In fact, around 3 in 10 children do not grow healthily as a result..

People live with HIV/AIDS

Vulnerable to HIV/AIDS

Many Burkinabe do not have access to proper sanitation facilities. This could explain the high rate of infectious diseases in the country. HIV/AIDS is also a major public health concern, as around 100,000 people in the country live with the virus. Although the government has included the problem in its development plan, thousands of people affected by the virus remain without access to medical care. Children and young people are also affected. Children lose their parents to the virus and are left to fend for themselves.

Of the population lives in poverty


Burkina Faso continues to experience difficult economic conditions. Although the situation has improved over recent years, around 40% of the population still lives in poverty and nearly 80% is without a formal job. In spite of economic growth, high levels of poverty have in fact intensified in some areas of the country. Rural areas are more affected by extreme poverty - the so-called "rural poor" amount to six million, including many children. Employment is often limited to the informal sector, where jobs are not secure.

Together we can make a difference for children in Burkina Faso

Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
SOS Children’s Villages Burkina Faso supports internally displaced families so that their children can live in better conditions. Absetou and her family is one of the many families that SOS Children’s Villages Burkina Faso is helping. The family are facing some difficulties but they are striving hard to make ends meet (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Burkina Faso).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives