Burkina Faso

Director's Welcome

Bienvenue! We invite you to join the Peace Corps/Burkina Faso team.

During your service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso you will have the privilege of experiencing the colorful, dynamic, and welcoming country of Burkina Faso and her people! The country possesses a rich culture and history, and its people comprise 60 ethnic groups. The people of Burkina Faso, known as Burkinabè, are renowned for their tolerance and acceptance of ethnic and religious diversity, with Islam, Christianity, and indigenous animist beliefs all being practiced. The name Burkina Faso is a combination of two local languages, mooré (Burkina = man of integrity) and dioula (Faso = father’s house or homeland). Thus, Burkina Faso is the “Land of the Upright/Honorable People.” Burkinabè take pride in the fact that they are known for their integrity as well as their hospitality. On the African continent, Burkina Faso has a stellar reputation for the arts, including traditional music, dance, singing, mask festivals, and more. Burkina Faso hosts the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou and the International Arts and Crafts Show, two major international events that highlight Burkina Faso as a country devoted to cultivating the arts. Artists and art connoisseurs from all over the world attend these events.

The Peace Corps has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the people of Burkina Faso since the first Volunteers arrived in 1967. The Peace Corps briefly ceased operations in Burkina Faso in 1987 due to host government development goals no longer aligning with the Peace Corps’ mission. However, the Peace Corps was invited back in 1995 to begin a community health project, followed by the establishment of education and small enterprise development projects. Burkinabè communities have hosted over 2,100 Peace Corps Volunteers since 1967, carrying out meaningful development work built upon a strong foundation of cross-cultural understanding, community ownership, and the individual and collective strengths of the communities served. The Peace Corps’ programmatic priorities align with those of the government of Burkina Faso and the U.S. Department of State Mission through four primary sectors: Community Health, Community Economic Development (CED), Education and Let Girls Learn. Additionally, the Peace Corps trains and supports all Volunteers and their community partners to address important cross-cutting development areas, leveraging global partnerships and resources to improve food security and nutrition, promote malaria prevention and youth development, support HIV/AIDS prevention, and foster integration of gender equality into development activities.

Our Volunteers are dedicated to promoting sustainable development, building the capacity of the local population, and enhancing mutual understanding on the part of Americans and Burkinabès. Our Volunteers collaborate with their community partners to address development priorities with an emphasis on community ownership and community resources. Peace Corps/Burkina Faso ensures that our remarkable Volunteers have the training and support they need to be successful in service through the assistance of a qualified team of dynamic staff. It is truly an honor and privilege to work with such a highly committed team of Volunteers and staff members. We celebrate our daily work with the people of Burkina Faso to build the long-term development capacity of the communities we serve. We will never cease to honor the valiant people of Burkina Faso and our host communities for their hard work, their warmth, and unsurpassed hospitality.

Keith Hackett, Ph.D.
Country Director Peace Corps/Burkina Faso
RPCV Mali, 1992–95