Learning in an Unsafe School Building Finally Comes To an End in Burkina Faso

We have great news to share: a new project in Kalghin, Burkina Faso, has started. Groundbreaking took place, and 76 students can’t wait for their current school to be renovated and finally safe again.

As a landlocked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso is ranked as the world’s 7th least developed nation on the UN Human Development Index, with 44 percent of the population living below the poverty line of $1.90 a day. More than half of people over the age of 15 are illiterate, and the average child will attend school for just 1.5 years.

Nearly 80 percent of Burkina Faso’s population works in agriculture, making the country’s economy significantly dependent on this industry. Unfortunately, over the past 50+ years, temperatures in the region have continued to rise, contributing to severe droughts, desertification, and degraded soils.

In addition to these economic hardships, Burkina Faso’s small villages and remote communities such as Kalghin often lack access to quality school structures and classrooms. The village of Kalghin is a rural community of approximately 4 350 people located in the Central-West region. Most community members are subsistence farmers who rear livestock and grow corn, millet, and sorghum.

Kalghin’s primary school, which is located in the heart of their community, has become a cornerstone for meetings. It is additionally a place where increasing amounts of children are turning to receive a formal education. However, though this budding school responds to the community’s need for educational facilities, it has proven itself a challenge to keep up. With a roof made of hay and walls made of strewn-together materials such as woven mats and plastic sheets, this shelter has been unable to protect the student population from the environment. During the rainy season, the roofing and wooden supports often become soaked beyond use. During the dry season, the wind removes different layers of roofing or the make-shift walls. With the constantly changing climate, the classrooms often crumble under the weather, leaving the parents liable to repair any damages so learning can continue. For some parents, these issues have turned their sense of joy, which came from the accessibility of formal education, towards a sentiment of guilt for sending their children somewhere where they could be injured, just trying to receive an education.

With the next nearest proper school a 5 km walk over dry, desert terrain, the community members of Kalghin were left with few options for their children.

Thanks to Acronis and our implementing partner buildOn, we will provide the village of Kalghin with a proper school block and latrines.

We are so excited to participate in this fantastic project!