The Friends of Burkina Faso

Les Amis du Burkina Faso

From the latest Burkina Connection

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Quick Links:

Kwilga Bridges to Current Burkina PCV's Blogs (Other Burkina Faso Friends Blogs)
Peace Corps in Burkina Faso
Lambs for School video
Noon Meals Improves Girls' Learning Video
T-Shirt Order Form (PDF)
Membership Form (PDF)
Recent Returnee Membership form
Lambs for School Project Certificate
Lambs for School Project Holiday Certificate
FBF Grant Proposal Guidelines (English Manual)
FBF Grant Proposal Guidelines (Francais Manuel)


The Friends of Burkina Faso News

For current news articles related to Burkina Faso, visit: All ( or ( ) to access news on Burkina that is continually updated from thousands of sources around the net. For a list of Burkina Faso news sites in English, click here ( The ABYZ News Links page ( gives a listing of all newspapers and media outlets covering Burkinaoboth foreign and domestic.


In-depth look at Peace Corps
Burkina 50th Anniversary Fair
Song written for the 50th Peace Corps
Anniversary Celebration in Burkina Faso


Interview of the U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso January,9 2015

November Updates (Revolution in Burkina Faso Panel and 2015 Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award nominations) November, 11 2014

Burkina : démission de Compaoré, confusion autour de la transition October, 31 2014

LPK Computer Expansion Project (by Thomas Vollrath)

Bonjour M. Sanou,

Many thanks for your 4/24/12 communication to the Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF).  This letter provided useful information about LPK, the need for computers, and their envisioned use by students at LPK.

I am pleased to inform you that the FBF Board of Directors approved, based upon the recommendation of our Projects Committee,  the Computer Expansion Project submitted by Emma Hunter. These computers are equipped with French versions of Microsoft Office, Adobe, and other software.  LPK will be able update this software via the internet as new versions are made available.

As you may know, FBF has been working diligently with Paul Andrecovich and other personnel at Lawrence Tech University (LTU) in Michigan to refurbish donated laptop and desktop computers. Monsieur Andrecovich just informed me that the laptop computers were sent to Burkina Faso today via U.S. Postal Air. Delivery is estimated to take 6 to 10 days.  FBF will inform you when the desktop computers are ready to go.

We were pleased to hear from Emma Hunter that her colleague, Allain Gnabahou, has agreed to report back to FBF from time-to-time about project developments, especially since Emma’s tour of duty with the Peace Corps is scheduled to end in July. It is important that FBF keep our donors informed about project implementation.  Such feedback is critical to the future success of our program.

FBF congratulates LPK for developing the computer curriculum for its students.   We hope that the FBF/LTU donation will help make your program more effective.


Thomas Vollrath
Chief, FBF Projects Committee

P.S. Desiré Banse, a member of our Projects Committee, has graciously agreed to be the primary source of contact for Allain here in the USA.


FBF Honored by Government of Burkina Faso (by Suzanne Plopper)

Friends of Burkina Faso’s commitment to the education of girls in the Northern Region was recognized by the Government of Burkina Faso during regional Independence Day celebrations in Ouaghigouya December 11.  The GOBF awarded me a medal (Ordre du Merite) on behalf of Friends of Burkina Faso for our fundraising efforts for the education of village girls through NEEED.  We were one of 74 awardees at this ceremony.   The medal was awarded by the Yatenga Naba.

Over the past ten years, FBF has supported approximately 2400 girls entering primary school through the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project.  We have helped to support the noon meal project at the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie for the past six years; and through the generous support of the Milton and Beatrice Wind Foundation and the Foundation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, we have provided scholarships to 20 girls for post secondary education and training over the past two years.

Looking ahead, with its partners, NEEED’s goal is to mobilize village parents throughout the Northern Region to send their daughters to school.  NEEED estimates that this goal will be achieved with the support of an additional 2000 young girls in an estimated 100 villages in the region over the next 3 – 4 years.  (This year, NEEED turned down requests for support from 60 villages due to lack of resources.)  Since 1999, NEEED has supported the first year of school for girls in 161 villages, providing support to each village for only one year.  NEEED’s focus is 1) to demonstrate to parents their daughters’ educational capacity and the parents’ ability to provide an education for their daughters via the Lambs Support Girls’ Education strategy; and 2) to mobilize parents to continue sending younger children to school, using this same strategy.  

NEEED’s success is seen in the very positive change in the numbers of girls entering school, and in the increased interest of parents in the education of their daughters.

We’ll have more details in the upcoming Burkina Connection.  

BURKINA FASO 50TH Anniversary Celebration in Washington D.C. "Duniya faa pa tar zood ye, la tond taralame."

View photos from event

The Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF) were invited and several members attended two extraordinary events that occurred this last weekend celebrating Burkina Faso's 50th Anniversary of Independence. The first event was a Burkina Faso Embassy hosted celebration at the Washington Marriott. The second was a 50th Anniversary Celebration that was hosted by ABURWA, the Association of people from Burkina living in the Washington area.

Friday's Burkina Faso 50th Anniversary gala event was attended by a wide array of people from the diplomatic corps, including Jason Small, the Deputy Director of the Office of West African Affairs from the U.S. State Department. It celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Burkina Faso's independence and the extraordinary relationship and friendship between Burkina Faso and the United States. The event began with the playing of the national anthems of both Burkina Faso and the United States. Paul Robert Tiendrebeogo, Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations from Burkina Faso, addressed the audience. He spoke of the history of independence over the last 50 years and he also spoke of recent activities that provided evidence of the positive and friendly relationship between the United States and Burkina Faso--including the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement and, most recently, the addition on December 16, 2010 of another 30 Peace Corps volunteers in Burkina Faso. An address was also given by Jason Small from the U.S. Department of State, echoing the positive and cooperative relationship between Burkina Faso and the United States. Mr. Small put the evolving U.S./BF relationship into context and mentioned the presence of the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso since 1967. He also made reference to recent movements towards development and democracy.

Saturday's ABURWA 50th Anniversary all-night celebration started at 8:00 p.m. and did not end until nearly 4:00 a.m. This very festive event included opening addresses by Guy Lingani, the ABURWA president, and Pascal Batjobo, the Burkina Charge d'Affaires. These presentations celebrated the significance of the 50th Anniversary of Burkina Faso's Independence and the friendship between Burkina Faso and the United States, including specific references to the Friends of Burkina Faso. After the Charge d'Affaires spoke, Drissa Dao from ABURWA introduced Mike Lavoie, the new FBF President. Mr. Dao's warm introduction of Mike Lavoie included a description of FBF's long time commitment to Burkina Faso and also the special partnership that continues to exist between Mike's village of Namtenga and Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Mike Lavoie spoke to the audience, expressed appreciation for the invitation to Burkina Faso's anniversary events in D.C., and offered congratulations to the Charge d'Affaires of Burkina, all friends of Burkina Faso, and to all FBF members who are in Burkina Faso today. Mike observed that there was something very marvelous occurring at this moment in history, namely the convergence of three separate anniversaries. He observed the remarkable coincidence of the Burkina Faso independence and the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary occurring at the same time. He also noted the 10th year anniversary of the Namtenga and Cranbrook Schools' relationship.

To celebrate and mark these anniversaries, Mike Lavoie provided two gifts to Pascal Batjobo, the Charge d'Affaires. The first was the 50th Anniversary poster that had been created through the wonderful efforts of Jon Berger and Denny Fitzpatrick. You will see a picture of this separately. The second gift was a special framing of one of the original weavings from the Namtenga Weaving Studio along with a picture of the Cranbrook Schools with a note of congratulations.

In his remarks to the audience, Mike noted how our friendships have endured not just months or a few years, but over decades. He concluded his remarks with a reference to what he said in Namtenga in a visit three years ago: "Duniya faa pa tar zood ye, la tond taralame." "Tout le monde n'a pas l'amitie, mais nous l'avons." (All the world does not have friendship but we have it). Mike then related the same message of friendship to the audience.

The gifts of FBF and Cranbrook Schools were very well received and, after the speech, expressions of appreciation and respect were forthcoming from not only the Charge d'Affaires but also many in the audience.

Following the presentation, musical stars from Burkina Faso put on a fabulous show. These included singer Mai Lingani, George Ouedraogo, Hamed Smani and the Troupe Noong Taaba. The music and dancing was sensational! Mike Lavoie took particular enjoyment dancing with Mai Lingani whom he had met when she passed through Detroit on a concert tour earlier this year.

All in all, Burkina had a marvelous 50th Anniversary Celebration this past weekend in D.C. and it was an honor for FBF to have been able to participate in a meaningful and enjoyable way.

Friends of Burkina Faso is one of four international winners in the the 1st ever America's Giving Challenge (February 2008)

Case Foundation Press release
Global Giving Blog
Reuters Press Release

MCC Board of Directors Approves Poverty Reduction Grant for
Burkina Faso To Improve Agriculture, Roads and Girls' Education

Armenia and Madagascar also discussed during Board Meeting

Washington, D.C.—The Millennium Challenge Corporation's Board of Directors today approved a $480.9 million Millennium Challenge poverty reduction grant with Burkina Faso.  This five-year agreement will help the landlocked West African nation reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth through strategic investments to improve agricultural productivity, land use rights and land management, farm-to-market roads, and girls' primary education.

Burkina Faso's compact with the United States is MCC's 17th agreement and follows a successful MCC threshold program that, in partnership with USAID, helped improve girls' education in the country over the past two years.  The new compact will build upon this success and fund the construction of classrooms in 132 "girl friendly" schools for grades 4 through 6.  The compact will also improve land and rural productivity through investments in irrigation and water management, technical assistance to farmers, access to rural credit and improved rural and primary roads.

"Through this Millennium Challenge grant, the American people support Burkina Faso's efforts to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth," said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich following the June 17 Board meeting. "The compact, focused on increasing agricultural productivity, is particularly timely because it offers a long-term solution to the current food crisis in an especially hard-hit part of the world." 

Following MCC Board approval, there is a 15-day congressional notification period before the compact may be signed. MCC anticipates signing this agreement with Burkina Faso by the end of July.

Danilovich added, "Our partnership with Burkina Faso will significantly improve the lives of the Burkinabe by providing them access to education, better roads and agricultural resources.  MCC congratulates the people of Burkina Faso for developing a strategic, results-oriented program.  MCC and Burkina Faso have reason to be proud, given our accomplishments with the girl friendly schools of the threshold program.  We look forward to strengthening this partnership and enabling the people of Burkina Faso to lead their economic development efforts while remaining accountable for their progress."

In addition to approving the compact with Burkina Faso, the Board also discussed events in Armenia.  During the meeting, MCC's Board echoed the international community's concern regarding the government's actions with respect to freedom of assembly, the arrests and detentions of opposition supporters, and the need for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the election and post-election events.  MCC's Board agreed that recent developments in Armenia intended to address these concerns were encouraging and will continue to monitor the situation in Armenia.

Previously, the Board voted to extend the term of the compact with Madagascar.  Madagascar, with whom MCC signed its first compact and the only one that is four years in length, has requested a one year extension.  MCC will amend the compact to extend its term to five years.  This action does not change the amount of funds available under the compact, but is designed to position Madagascar to more fully implement the compact's planned activities. 

For overview of the November 29th Conference, click here .

Sanctions against U.S. cotton industry by World Trade Organization will lead to higher prices for cotton farmers in Burkina Faso: 

Burkina commemorates slain leader: