Capacity building in West Africa

Partnership, friendship, openness and co-operation – this is what a ProCent-supported project in Burkina Faso represents. FOCUS, a nonprofit organization based in Viernheim (Baden-Württemberg in Germany), is developing the vocational training center in the Silly Department in West Africa.

Education and further education are really important for people to improve their living conditions, particularly in the poorest countries in the world. The Silly Department, made up of 33 villages, is twinned with and therefore closely linked to Viernheim. The FOCUS organization supports partnership and cultural exchange, as well as development projects in Silly.

The new processing building for women's groups and apprentices

The vocational training center in Silly can now be expanded thanks to aid from Daimler ProCent. A new building with four living quarters is being developed. Four to five women should be able to live there with their young children during their training. The building should be completed by Fall 2019. As there is no electricity on site, a solar installation will be put on the roof of the new building. This will light the facility.

Thus far, the training center comprises two accommodations for girls and boys, as well as a dining hall, classrooms, vegetable gardens, orchards, stables, a playing field and a biogas plant. Furthermore, there is a separate restaurant, which generates income for the training center.

A twinning between towns which represents openness and friendship

The twinning development projects are planned and put into action by dedicated volunteers. All development projects take place together with partners in Africa, who are familiar with the situation there.

FOCUS is involved to improve the provision of food and drinking water, and for further education in the Department. Alongside the schooling of children and teenagers, further adult education is supported in the villages.

Annually, the local training center is two-thirds financed by FOCUS. One third is generated on location by selling agricultural products which are grown there as the site is home to large areas for growing fruit and vegetables, in addition to the educational opportunities. The harvest also ensures the self-sufficiency of the school kitchen.

Future opportunities: Zoning in on the training

The aim of FOCUS is to enable young people to receive practical training. The young people develop their skills in agriculture, animal husbandry and the processing of agricultural products. They are building a basis for their future. What’s more, their education is contributing to supplying the population with food.

The experiences over the last six years show that almost all the young people in their first or second year of training have achieved a successful outcome. Around 30 young people are trained each year. However, the population’s need is significantly higher. Another training course which is designed for women is being planned. Content-wise, it is to cover the processing and conservation of food.

With the new accommodations, we can house women and mothers with young children respectably

Odile Kabore, responsible for further development

The organization can allocate 15,000 euros for the pending investments in the new building and the solar installation. However, the total costs will build up to around 55,000 euros. The Daimler ProCent subsidy for the remaining amount enables the construction of a new building and a solar system.

Update

News reached us from Burkina Faso just before Christmas that the new accommodation there has been completed and is now ready for use.

The new premises look really good and will provide a home from home for the groups of women and children who take part in the workshops there, which run over several days, learning about the processing of agricultural products.

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