Burkina Faso


Protecting and Empowering Vulnerable Women and Children in Bobo Dioulasso

Since 2011 the Good Shepherd programs supported by GSIF have been responding to the needs of girls and women from Secteur 22, one of the most impoverished areas of Bobo Dioulasso, the second city of Burkina Faso. La programs run by the sisters and their partners in mission, contribute to the protection and empowerment of women who are victims of poverty, domestic violence, commercial sexual exploitation, and other forms of abuses, such as human trafficking. The aim is to break the cycle of poverty-ignorance-violence-exploitation that keeps women and girls at the margins of society. La programs offer 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. 


  • Good Shepherd Women Center “Le Havre du Bon Pasteur”: the center hosts girls and young women in distress, giving shelter in particular to women affected by violence, human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The program facilitates their social reintegration. All the girls and women are supported with hospitality – for them and their children – and cared for their basic needs (food, clothing, personal hygiene and cleaning, medical care). They receive counselling and psycho-social support by professional psychologists to face and overcome traumasfamily mediation, literacy and vocational training are provided in connection with the Training Centre “Yelemani”. The Center welcomes an average of 15-20 girls/women per year.
  • Training Center “Yelemani”: the Center, which operates since 2014, provides skill training in catering, cooking and pastry-making to girls and women from vulnerable backgrounds. Most of the participants have a low level of education or limited professional qualification. Over the years, 195 women and girls have been engaged in vocational and skill training at the center and 94% of them have a job and earn an income.
  • Micro-credit project: the project involves a group of women from the Secteur 22  living in extreme poverty or in most precarious and insecure conditions, affected by violence and other abuses. These women receive training in small business management, micro-credit, women’s rights and health, and are empowered to access funding to start their income generating activities to improve food security and the overall economic conditions of their families.
  • La Kindergarten provides services such as child care, pre-school education, recreational activities, education in hygiene and nutrition, in order to create a healthy and stimulating environment for social and psychological development of children, girls and boys (age 6 months – 6 years). Since 2016 more than 270 children attended the kindergarten to receive quality education and care at a key stage for the growth and development of children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 



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 AfricaThe condition of women and young girls is influenced by a context, that nis fundamentally marked by socio-cultural constraints. Access to education is far from being an enforced rule in Burkina FasoToo many obstacles stand today, especially in rural areas for girls who want to have an education. First of all, the weight of traditions which discourages families to send children to school when they can be involved in some form of work and become at a young age a significant source of income. This is even more true for girls that can be employed at a young age 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

182/188 ranking UNDPHuman Development Index (2019)


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