There are 23.000 refugees from Mali in Burkina Faso. Most of them stay in camps.
Access to health care and education for these refugees is almost non-existent. It’s worse for girls and women.
UNHCR in Burkina tries to help the refugees as well as possible. We spoke to them about the use of products (soap, menstrual protection kit) of our organization.
In our presentation we talked about the LAP and our contact person at UNHCR asked us if we would like to receive children from refugee families at our school. Many refugees have been in Burkina Faso for years and UNHCR tries to help them integrate into the local society. Most of the refugees were livestock keepers or farmers in Mali.
Because the UNHCR had no budget to sponsor the children, we placed a project on the Global Giving platform and with the networks of people who work at UNHCR Burkina, we were able to raise enough money for 5 children.
The selection was not easy. One of our criteria is that the student is not older than 14 years. Refugee children find it difficult to follow an ongoing program in primary school and finish this program when they are 15 or 16 years old. We also wanted to have at least 50% girls.
After the presentation by UNHCR staff in the camps, we had only 9 candidates for the admission test, one of which was a girl and some of them were already 15 years old.
Finally we have selected 5 children who started at the LAP in September 2020. So far they are very well integrated and all are among the best in their class!