Burkina Faso


people lack access to clean water


of women can’t read


of the population are under 15 years old


of women live with female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C)

About Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is an ethnically diverse, secular country in West Africa.

Most of the Burkina people are concentrated in the south and centre of the country, with hundreds of thousands migrating to neighbouring countries, mainly for seasonal agricultural work. Around 80 per cent of the population is engaged in subsistence farming; cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base.

Burkina Faso gained independence in 1960 and education levels have vastly improved since then. The primary education rate has gone from just seven per cent to more than 81 per cent. The draw of Burkina Faso’s gold mining industry means an increased rate of children leave school before completing their education. There are several other challenges facing the education system. Many schools are without teachers, classes are overcrowded, there is a high number of school dropouts and there are poor enrolment rates in rural areas.

The production and availability of food are impacted by climate change and increased mining activities that negatively affect the quantity and quality of food. Malnutrition is a constant challenge, particularly for children under five years.

Poor health and bad housing conditions are also serious problems for the country. Overall, the level of sanitation has improved, but access to clean drinking water remains limited. As a result, waterborne diseases persist and child mortality remains high.

Climate change, urbanisation and conflict have all left Burkina Faso more vulnerable to disasters.

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Vulnerable People

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Our Work in Burkina Faso

Tearfund has been working in Burkina Faso since the 1970s, and currently works with five partner organisations across the country.

In recent years, Tearfund has responded to flood and food crises in the areas around the province of Soum, the village of Bama and the town of Tougan. We are currently focusing on rebuilding the lives of those most vulnerable to climate change. We are doing this by building water reserves to develop livestock breeding, distributing improved seeds to farmers, restoring eroded land and supporting market gardening.

Tearfund works through a number of partner organisations in Burkina Faso to implement the church and community transformation (CCT) process among local churches and Bible colleges.

The CCT process helps unlock people’s God-given power and potential – allowing communities to escape poverty through their own resourcefulness.

Tearfund’s aim is to reduce the physical and spiritual poverty of 250,000 people in Burkina Faso by 2022. It’s a bold target and we plan to achieve it alongside our local partner groups and working with 1,600 local churches, Christian NGOs and denominations in the country.

These churches will engage with their communities through the church and community transformation process. This training will change attitudes to corruption and justice, sexual and gender-based violence, and female genital mutilation/cutting. Through this work we will encourage the restoration of people’s relationships with God, with each other and with the created world.




people have improved WASH facilities through our partner, ACCEDES.


people have learned to read and write in the centre north of Burkina Faso where our partner CREDO works.


people now have sufficient access to food, and have benefited from improved seeds and fertiliser to increase their production.


children have received enriched boiled wheat to help fight malnutrition.

Pray for our work

  • Pray for Tearfund’s work with women. Female genital mutilation and cutting is a dangerous violation of human rights, and tragically it is very common in Burkina Faso.
  • Ask God to bring peace to Burkina Faso. Terrorism is still a very real danger, especially in the north of the country.
  • The changing climate is leaving many without access to food. Pray for Tearfund’s response to this need and for the wider issue of climate change.

Stories from Burkina Faso

  • Radio On air sign (Photo courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtiskennington/ Commons)

    Phone In

    Radio shows are often used as a means to save souls. A group of Christians in Burkina Faso are using their show to save an entire village from an…

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  • Prayer alert: Burkina Faso

    Last Friday, a terrorist attack in the capital city killed at least 30 people. Tensions are high, and our staff and partners there have asked us to pray in solidarity with them.

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Where we're working