CFPC is a vocational construction training centre founded in 2009 on 10 acres of land donated by a village. The centre is the result of a burden that God placed on the hearts of a Canadian couple 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, the founders owned a drywall construction business in Canada.
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. Funding is provided mainly by one-time and monthly donations.
Detailed Implementation Plan
Everyone seems to be a little tense with the unrest that is happening in the country even though our area has been untouched at this point. Our new students have come from many different areas of the country this year. Most of our students come from surrounding villages. We have 1 student that comes from over 200 km away. We now have a government worker from the Ministry of Youth living and working in Bousse so that has helped to open up some discussions and sharing of ideas. We hope this will continue to open new opportunities.
During the past six months CFPC and their students have been working hard together. CFPC secured a contract with another local Christian organization in town, Friends in Action International, and had the opportunity to build the outside wall of a large compound. It has been an exciting partnership as the masonry and welding students have both been involved. Discussions will continue whether they have the funds for more projects for CFPC.
CFPC celebrated as the 5 masonry students who took the government qualification exam passed! The first year of the welding program has been a success and the students look forward to continuing into their second year in the fall. In addition CFPC has fed the students 3 times a week this spring, which may increase in the fall when the food supplies in the villages often get low due to drought.
In order to increase the security of the facilities a new guard house was built and the fencing surrounding the compound was improved.
Our graduation this year was a small group (5) but the good news is that all are working full time in the construction trade. We had a very large number of applicants in October, but unfortunately we were not able to accept them all. We ended up with 13 new students bringing our total to 41 for this year. To date, we have 3 full time teachers for our 3 programs, 2 part time teachers for Math and French, 4 full time staff to help the instructors with the practical training of the students, 2 full time guards and 1 part time for the weekend, 2 part time ladies that prepare the students’ meals and Victorien, our administrator.
We are starting a new program now that will train an additional 50 students over the next 15 months. This training will mostly take place in another location just north of us.
In May, 28 of our students will be taking the government testing to gain their CQP certificate (national certification).
We are in the process now of extending our existing perimeter walls. We met with the local police chief and he is going to work with our guards to give them tips of what they should and not be doing. We called in a security company from the capital to give us recommendations on what we should be doing to help prevent unwanted visitors.
Stories of Transformation
At CFPC this year, we have 41 students, more than half of them living away from home. For most of them their village is more than 50 km away! Although their families may have good intentions to send money for food and accommodation, many of the boys struggle to meet their basic needs. Of the students that live at home, many bike at least 10 km morning and night to arrive at the centre. One student was biking over 44 km round trip. Two of the students walk 5 km each way from Boussé. Many others walk when their bikes are broken (unfortunately, this happens on a regular basis).
Of our 41 students, 14 have lost a father or mother. In Burkina Faso, if your mother has died you are left without an advocate or emotional support, and your father will remarry and his new family will be his priority. If your father has died you are very poor because your mother has nothing. Three of our students are husbands and fathers. All of our students want something better for themselves and their families. They realise that learning a trade will give them a better future.
Two years can feel like a long time and for some the temptation to quit is a real pull, especially if they have little or no support from their family. Thankfully, the vast majority of them persevere despite all the obstacles. Our staff encourage those who are struggling and bring to our attention those who they know are in danger of giving up. Through prayer and with your support, all of us here at CFPC do our best to encourage them along till they graduate. We are thankful for their perseverance and hard work and are excited to share that this year’s grads all found good jobs!