Burkina Faso Projects

One of CARO’s main projects is the Teega Wende Orphanage which was established in 2003 by ASFOP to care for the region’s orphaned children.  ASFOP is a women’s association in Yako, Burkina Faso whose name means the Association for the Safeguard and Protection of Women and Orphans in Passoré province. Angèle Zida is ASFOP’s President and the volunteer Director of the Teega Wende Orphanage, ASFOP’s major project. The orphanage is located in the city of Yako in the northwest of the West African country of Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is a land-locked country in West Africa between Ivory Coast and Mali. Burkina Faso is a small country about the size of Italy with a population of 16 million people. Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita GDP of only $600. Currently the orphanage is caring for 200+ children. The words `Teega Wende’ mean “in God’s arms” in a local dialect. The orphans arrive at the orphanage after the government social service department (MASSN) undertakes an investigation to verify that the child’s mother or both parents are deceased, the parents are unable to care for the child due to mental illness, or the parents are unknown (e.g. a child is abandoned in rare cases). Sometimes, the child’s parents are afflicted with HIV and transmit the virus to their child. The orphanage itself hosts 35 or so children ages 0-3. The orphans often arrive at the orphanage in very poor health and receive life-saving care from the orphanage’s nurse and nannies. When they are old enough, the children return to their surviving relatives or host families if necessary. ASFOP continues to pay for the school fees, medical costs and some food for these `external orphans.’ According to ASFOP the paid staff includes 26 part-time nannies, 4 fully trained full-time nannies, 2 guardsmen, 1 nurse (1 nurse is on unpaid leave for school), 1 accountant, 1 secretary, and 2 full-time cooks for a total of 37 paid staff. All but the 2 guardsmen are women (35/37). Note that the orphanage director works on a volunteer basis and is unpaid.  The orphanage thus employs 37 Burkinabés who are often poor and vulnerable themselves. Several nannies at Teega Wende are widows and earn a livelihood for their family. The orphanage has provided childcare training to the nannies. The full-time nannies received extensive training to lead the orphanage staff in ensuring a safe and sanitary home that promotes the children’s development. 6 groups of 3 to 4 part-time nannies take turns working a 24 hour shift at the orphanage while each of the 4 full-time nannies also take turns working a 24-hour shift. The orphanage, together with CARO, provides training and materials–some funded on a micro-finance basis–for soap-making and weaving activities. These small enterprise activities provide a modest return to the orphanage and its employees.  CARO provides an annual budget to Teega Wende Orphanage, based on our fundraising abilities from the previous year, to help them cover their $60,000+ US annual budget.

We calculate that $280 supports an orphaned child for one year.

Garrett & Megan – 2013 summary report (Garrett has been a volunteer with CARO for many years) We visited Burkina Faso in July 2013. We were very impressed with the orphanage. It is exceptionally well maintained, clean, and organized. The employees are hard working and know their individual responsibilities. The nannies are efficient by necessity, but show the children love and individual attention when they have the chance. The nurse and nannies literally save the lives of children who sometimes arrive at the orphanage on death’s door once the orphan’s surviving relatives understand they cannot care for the child.   The orphanage hosts up to 35 children ages 0-3. When they are old enough, the children return to their surviving relatives or host families if necessary. Four times annually, the families and `external’ orphans return to the orphanage to receive a meal, a large sack of grains, and some essentials. We attended one such `sharing day’ during our visit. We were struck by both the children’s happiness and their family’s gratitude. We brought with us some face paint and stickers that were a huge hit with the young and old. In sum, all who are associated with the orphanage are justifiably proud of what they are accomplishing together.

  • CARO volunteer Megan with orphanage director Madame Zida

    CARO volunteer Megan with orphanage director Madame Zida

    ASFOP’s main activity is the ongoing operation of the Teega Wende Orphanage and the care of its 200+ orphans. In addition to the orphanage, ASFOP is opening a dormitory for young schoolgirls in 2014-2015. The dormitory provides a safe and structured environment for schoolgirls. In Burkina Faso, some students travel long distances to attend school so live with relatives or rent rooms. The directory aims to solve the problems of poor educational outcomes, disproportionate household burden on girls, and incest that persist in these unsupervised rental rooms. ASFOP also organizes diverse educational and training events for women.