Burkina Faso


Protecting and Empowering Vulnerable Women and Children in Bobo Dioulasso

Since 2011 GSIF has been responding to the needs of girls and women from the impoverished slum areas of Bobo Dioulasso, such as Secteur 22, who are the most poor and marginalized section of the Burkinabé population. Our program contributes to the protection and empowerment of the most vulnerable women, who are victims of poverty, commercial sexual exploitation, and other forms of violence and abuses against women and girls. The aim is to break the cycle of poverty-ignorance-violence-exploitation that keeps women and girls at the margins of society. We offers holistic and integrated support to these young women to overcome trauma, raise their levels of self-confidence and promote social inclusion and economic independence, offering shelter, counselling, and vocational training.


  • The Women Center “Le Havre du Bon Pasteur”: the center hosts girls and young women in distress, giving shelter to victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV), human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, and facilitating their social reintegration. All the girls and women are supported with hospitality and basic needs (food, clothing, personal hygiene and cleaning, medical care), counselling and psycho-social support by professional psychologists to face and overcome traumas, family mediation, literacy and vocational training in connection with the Training Centre). The Women Center welcomes an average of 25 girls/women per year.
  • The Training Center “Yelemani”: the Center, which operates since 2014, provides skill training in catering, cooking and pastry-making to 45 vulnerable girls and women, such as those hosted in the Women Center, with low level of education or professional qualification, often victims of abuse and violence and other women living in poverty and difficult situations from impoverished areas of Bobo-Dioulasso.
  • The Kindergarten provides services such as child care, pre-school education, recreational activities, hygiene and nutrition, in order to create a healthy and stimulating environment for social and psychological development of the children, girls and boys.
  • Micro credit project – In order to promote micro-entrepreneurship, starting from the end of 2016, GSS have launched micro-finance groups made of girls and women living in poverty in secteur 22 of Bobo Dioulasso. This micro credit scheme targets a total of 50 women per year, is based on a revolving fund, and provides to the women involved training in financial literacy and entrepreneurship, access to micro credit to start up a small business, support and follow-up


Bobo Dioulasso







Local staff


Human Rights
Girls and Women's Empowerment
Alternative Livelihoods
Community Strengthening and participation


Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in West Africa. The condition of women and young girls is influenced by a socio-political and cultural context, which is fundamentally marked by socio-cultural constraints. Thus, pillar of the family and hence of society, the woman is omnipresent without the feminine condition being satisfied. Access to education is far from being a rule in Burkina Faso. Too many obstacles stand today, especially in rural areas. First of all, the weight of traditions means that it is not natural to send children to school when they quickly represent a significant source of labor. This is even more true for girls who can be placed quite young as domestic workers. In a country where the literacy rate is very low the trend is not ready to reverse even if the authorities have become aware of the problem. Access to work (outside the informal economy) is extremely restricted for women and they are almost excluded from salaried employment.

Facts and figures

78% illiteracy rate (2001)

90.8% of illiterate population are women

40% of population living below the poverty line

185/188 ranking UNDPHuman Development Index (2016)


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