The Village of Hope School, which has educated thousands of students since opening in 2002, began out of compassion for impoverished and orphaned children living in Burkina Faso’s isolated rural communities. Situated just outside of the capital city of Ouagadougou, it has grown to provide quality education, healthcare, and nutritious food to over 500 children each year.
Many of Burkina Faso’s rural villages are so remote they have no public schools, and in some cases school infrastructure has been built but not opened due to a shortage of teachers willing to relocate to the village. Founders Michel and Lydia Ouedraogo work together with a team of dedicated local Burkinabe to provide a better future for children from rural villages who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend school.
Detailed Implementation Plan
Over the past six months we have been working hard to educate and care for the 216 children that are in primary school. We continue providing education, healthcare, food and spiritual training, investing in the children who will grow up to transform their own communities. The month of May brought the end of the school year. We had a 96% success rate for the exams and we thank God for that. All of the students have gone home for the summer break and will return at the end of August for the start of a new school year.
In February, two Forge interns from iTeams Canada, Matt Thompson and Steph Schreuders, visited Village of Hope for a month in order to conduct an impact evaluation. As a part of the program planning cycle, the information gathered will be used to determine the impact of Village of Hope on the children and in the community, while program leaders will also use the information for planning the next 3-5 years. Matt and Steph had a wonderful time building relationships with staff and students, while learning more about the work at VoH. They interviewed all the staff, held focus groups with the students, and surveyed some of Village of Hope’s first graduates. There are many staff that work together to keep the children safe, happy, healthy and fed. Pastor Michel, Lydia and their son Samuel provide leadership along with Mathieu and Alassone. Mr. Paul acts as the parents’ representative, and teachers, dorm monitors, cooks, security guards, drivers, electricians, and pastors also each play a vital role in the development of the children.
A team from Hamilton, Ontario came and assisted VoH staff with painting the exterior wall of the dining hall and providing much needed maintenance. The building looks clean and fresh, creating an environment that the children can be proud of and that encourages learning and respect.
At the end of June, Pastor Michel and Lydia’s son Samuel got married! The wedding was a joyful celebration and Samuel and Elaine look forward to this new journey together in Burkina Faso. Congratulations to the new couple!
Also at the end of June, a big storm swept through the compound causing damage to school and dormitory roofs. We are thankful that it happened while most students were home already for summer break, and we plan to have it repaired before they return to school.
Another project of high priority is to build a security wall around the primary school compound. This is very important in order to increase the protection and security of all the children that we care for during the year, while also assisting our security guards with their job of keeping everyone safe. We have started building this wall and will continue this work in the next six months.
While there are many great transformations happening at Village of Hope one of our priorities is also to increase support for Village of Hope so that the care and education provided for our students can continue to improve. As we look forward to beginning the new school year in September we look ahead with hope and faith believing that the wall project will be a start for better protection of the kids and also the maintenance of our buildings (bathrooms, dorms and cafeteria). We look forward for continued growth, higher spiritual discipleship through teachings and a 100% of success for those taking the exam.
Stories of Transformation
As the interns, Matt and Steph, researched the impact of Village of Hope it was clear from the data that children who have attended Village of Hope have experienced change. This was most noticeable in terms of education, hope for the future, positive behavioural change, and spiritual development. The children who make it to high school are greatly impacted by their education. They were doing well in their class and because of their education they have hope and promise for a future where they can support themselves and their families. Everyone surveyed expressed the belief that they will have a better future than their parents. One student shared that “If I went to school back home for example some of the other students don’t like to study and some of them are thieves. I would be a thief, but here we live with hope, there is no-one to bother you. I thank the Lord, I was going to church but didn’t give my life to Christ until I was here.”
Spiritual and behavioural transformations were reported by almost everyone when asked about impact of Village of Hope. Staff shared stories of children who used to fight, curse and insult, and many children themselves shared stories of transformation. A group of primary school students were asked “how have you changed since coming to Village of Hope?” Their answers included:
- I was a bandit but now I’m not.
- I was stealing people’s stuff, but I don’t do that anymore.
- I used to fight my neighbourhood kids.
- When I was back home my friend was pushing me to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes but now I don’t do that.
- When we go back home and we start washing our parents’ dishes, people say that we’ve change. We tell them we are in Christ, and not the same as before.
In February, two Forge interns, Matt Thompson and Steph Schreuders visited Village of Hope for a month in order to conduct an impact evaluation.
A team from Hamilton, Ontario visited Village of Hope and assisted in painting the dining hall.
Amber Rushton, one of VoH’s Program Champions, and Kim Loney from iTeams Canada will be visiting Village of Hope in early August to continue building relationships and partnerships.
|Total Income January-June 2016||$43,505|
|Total Expenses January-June 2016||$51,017|
|Overall 2016 Budget||$311,060|