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Volunteering in Burkina Faso

As with many African countries, the Burkinabe government is often choked by demands. This results in entry of various agencies who enlist volunteers to help cope with these demands. One such agency in Burkina Faso is the Peace Corps. The Corps has been active in the country for many years and enlists volunteers to participate in nation building projects. Common activities include teaching, working in health facilities, and working with local communities.

With literacy rate of 21%, there is a lot of work to be done in Burkina Faso in the education sector. For this reason, organizations such as UNDP also enlist volunteers in Burkina Faso to help combat illiteracy. The country also has one of the lowest school enrolment rates in the world at approximately 40%. Efforts mainly target educating the youth, as 70% of the illiterate are adults. The high level of illiteracy has  also contributed to the low number of teachers. Another international NGO in Burkina Faso is VSO International, which mainly engages volunteers in governance and health activities.

As with much of Africa tertiary education is costly and out of reach for many individuals. Many churches and organizations have established centres where the youth receive training on life skills and practical/vocational training. For individuals interested in volunteering in Africa without the services of an agency, contacting such organizations can provide suitable and rewarding experience. However, the absence of websites may be a challenge in which case information from churches and local NGO’s can help point in the right direction.


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