CFPC is a vocational construction training centre founded in 2009 at the village of Nabrabogo on 10 acres of land donated by the village. The centre is the result of a burden that God placed on the hearts of Roger and Chris Bast to meet the need in Burkina Faso to provide young Burkinabe men with trade skills in a Christian environment. Prior to moving to Burkina Faso in 2010, Roger and Chris Bast owned a drywall construction business in Canada. Roger and Chris had led 12 short term missions’ teams to Burkina Faso to work at the Village of Hope. Roger is also a graduate of the Construction Engineering Technology program at Conestoga College.
Training is free for every student enrolled at CFPC. Each course runs for two years and the emphasis is on practical “on the job” training. Programs are available for a variety of construction trades and were developed for young men with basic education qualifications. Training takes place both on-site at CFPC building projects and off-site at projects awarded to CFPC in the greater Boussé area. CFPC employs local skilled tradesmen to help teach the students the practical skills required to graduate from the programs.
Students also receive in class theoretical training for the construction trade they have chosen. They are taught French (the language of business in Burkina Faso) and mathematics by skilled instructors. Graduating students’ qualifications are recognized by the Burkina Faso Ministry of Youth and Employment. The training centre is administered by the Basts.
Funding is provided mainly by one-time and monthly donations.
Over the past few years the government in Burkina Faso has been redirecting its focus onto the promotion of trades and practical training, from a system that had focused more on administration. During their time at CFPC, iTeams Forge interns Matt Thompson and Steph Schreuders interviewed the Haut Commissaire (the High Commissioner) in Bousse who shared that CFPC is providing a much needed and desired service to the community, filling a role that needed to be filled with high quality training. It was encouraging to hear that CFPC’s work is recognized as valuable and necessary in the greater context of Burkina Faso.
Detailed Implementation Plan
The last six months have been busy at CFPC! There are currently 9 students in the masonry program and 6 in woodworking.
The students in the masonry program have been working on a variety of projects. They finished work in Yako building a second shelter for an NGO called Burkina Faso Outreach. It was a great experience for the students to use what they’ve learned in the classroom in practical ways. As that NGO expands, there may be more projects here in the future.
The students have also finished work on the fifth and final guest cabin at CFPC. The masonry students built the cabin and the woodworking students furnished it with a handmade bed and table. The CFPC guest compound now also includes a large dormitory and a latrine built by the masonry students. The CFPC facilities are occasionally rented out by church groups, visitors to Bousse, or other conferences or camps. The dormitory is a simpler alternative to the guest houses so that CFPC can offer guests a cheaper option.
For the second time, CFPC and other community members tried to drill for water in Nabrabogo, but no water was found.
Our woodworking students have continued classes with Deni. They are thriving under his leadership and learning a lot. We are so thankful for Deni and are excited that he signed a renewed contract for three years. We look forward to continue working with such a great teacher and mentor for our students.
Our truck has been such a blessing! We have been able to drive the students back and forth to the job site in Yako, pick up supplies, and assist community members, including the Haut Commissionaire when he needed hundreds of chairs transported for a large town celebration.
We are currently in the rainy season which means that planting is just beginning and harvest won’t happen until September. There is a food shortage across our community and many of our students to come to school hungry. During this lean time we have been feeding the students every day.
Construction will start on our welding building sometime in the next six months. Digging the foundation has begun and will continue into the fall. We will also continue to work on meeting government regulations and finding a masonry teacher. We have started contacting well-known training schools in the area to find a high quality graduate.
Stories of Transformation
Victorien has been working with Roger and Chris since October 2014. When asked about how he got involved at CFPC and what kind of impact CFPC has had in his life, he shared this wonderful story of moving from communications and filmmaking to helping to run CFPC:
“I came from a family in a small village who were very involved in politics. I’ve studied communications at the university and I’ve always dreamed of helping the development effort of my country, and that’s why I got involved in politics with my uncles, working directly with many Burkinabe politicians. Apart from my political ambitions, my communication skills also created opportunities for me to work with filmmakers and other companies, which was not always easy. During this time my passion for the Lord was growing. Many companies and men took advantage of me so I decided after my success at the film festival to open my own communications agency in 2009. In doing so I fell into a depression that resulted in the closure of the agency. In 2012 I tried to reopen the agency but first traveled to Ghana in search of reliable partners and I decided to enroll in Bible school there because I could not contain my passion for the Lord and His work. At the end of my training in Ghana, I worked for one year at a Christian university in Burkina Faso, before resigning for personal reasons.
That’s when a friend of Roger’s asked me if I would help Roger in the administration of CFPC. At first I was not interested because it had nothing to do with communications. But suddenly I decided it was not a bad idea to change my job it would be only for a year. This is when I joined CFPC. At first I did not feel in my element, but after 6 months of working with the CFPC I started to enjoy myself because I saw how CFPC transformed lives, and restored hope to many students and their families. At CFPC I help to recruit impoverished village youth to be trained in trades that can give them a better future. I translate of all CFPC’s paperwork in French and make sure the regulations of the government are respected by CFPC.
These young men are educated in very good conditions and the message of the Gospel is presented to them every day. So my political ambitions began to decline gradually as I glimpsed how CFPC could contribute to the holistic development of the villagers of the area. Last year two big opportunities opened up for me in communications and politics. But I opted to stay with CFPC. I chose CFPC for three reasons: I feel blessed by helping to transform lives, to participate in the development effort in my country, and to give my life for the poor and needy. These three reasons have changed the way I view my commitment to God and gave me a valid purpose for living. CFPC took me from the top place I would like to be to the bottom place I never dreamed to be. My plans of participating in the development effort of my country were for me to be a political leader and then spread my thoughts. But working with CFPC taught me to do not be that leader but be a servant. CFPC taught me how to give my life so the unprivileged can be privileged and change the country.”
In March, Matt Thompson and Steph Schreuders, two Forge Interns with International Teams Canada, visited for two weeks to conduct a program impact assessment looking at the short-term changes that have happened in the community and in the students over the past 6 years as a result of CFPC. They interviewed all the staff, some graduates, the current students as well as the District Commissioner of Boussé and the Director of Vocational Training Centres to get a bigger picture of the work of CFPC. The information which will be used by Chris and Roger and iTeams staff in the planning of the next 3-5 year program cycle.
Terry Gray, the program champion, visited in February, as did a team from Hamilton, Ontario who enjoyed a soccer tournament with the CFPC boys.
The annual Fundraising Luncheon was held in May and this year all the money raised will be used to begin construction of the welding building. We are very thankful for your continued support.
|Total Income January-June 2016||$59,187|
|Total Expenses January-June 2016||$68,158|
|Overall 2016 Budget||$84,252|