Overview of the Country
Burkina Faso has few natural resources, and has 90 percent of its population engages in subsistence agriculture. The population of Burkina Faso is approximately 17.5 million, with an annual growth rate of about 3 percent. Sharing borders with six countries (Mali, Niger, Bénin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast), Burkina Faso is composed of a rich mix of people representing over 60 ethnic groups. Despite the fact that Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, Burkinabè remain dignified, hardworking, and very welcoming to foreigners. Peace Corps Volunteers could not find a more hospitable group of people to work with than the Burkinabè.
Peace Corps Burkina Faso History
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Burkina Faso, then called Upper Volta, in 1967 and operated here uninterrupted for 21 years. Major projects included forestry extension, young farmer education, small enterprise development, secondary education (math, science, and English language), water well construction, agricultural and environmental extension, arts and crafts, basketball coaching, and parks development. In 1987, the Peace Corps program was phased out due to local political changes, but in 1995 the new government requested the re-establishment of the program.
The program was re-launched with a group of 17 Public Health Volunteers, who began their service in Burkina Faso in December 1995. Today, approximately 75 Volunteers serve in Burkina Faso, working in Health, Community Economic Development, and Education. In total, over 2,100 Volunteers have served in Burkina Faso since the Peace Corps first opened its program in 1967.
Award to Peace Corps Burkina Faso
On December 22, 2012, as a part of the celebration of foreign communities living in Burkina Faso, the Government of Burkina Faso presented an award to Peace Corps. The award, “Les Insignes de Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Burkinabe”, was in recognition of the level of integration of Peace Corps volunteers in their communities and their significant contribution to the development of Burkina Faso.
Peace Corps was presented an award on December 11, 2016 “Ordre des Palmes Académiques” in recognition of the exceptional contributions of Volunteers in the domain of Education in Burkina Faso.
We are humbled by these incredible honors that have been bestowed upon the more than 2,100 Peace Corps Volunteers by the Government of Burkina Faso. We are very grateful to the communities who have hosted our Volunteers and allowed our Volunteers to integrate into their communities. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to our partners, for their exemplary collaboration throughout the years.
In the annual report below, we have presented Peace Corps Burkina Faso, our various Programs and the activities carried out by our Volunteers and their counterparts during 2016. Peace Corps Burkina Faso is extremely gratified to continue to receive the strong support of the Government of Burkina Faso, our host communities and many partners.