It is in a context of growing insecurity in Burkina Faso that we celebrate this year
the International Day of Peace on September 21.
Estelle Dahani, Burkina Faso Manager of Planète Enfants & Développement, explains with concern the developments of the last months
in the country and the consequences on the population.
"Not good! The information coming from the front is really not good. headlines the Observateur Paalga of Monday, September 16, 2019. Indeed, the terrorist threat extends throughout the territory of Burkina Faso with regular attacks: destruction of state symbols, targeted assassinations, mines, attacks on food convoys, destruction of schools. Hundreds of thousands of inhabitants have been forced to flee their villages in search of peace and security. More than 270,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict and 2,200 schools have closed, depriving 330,000 children of their education. The loss of schooling poses serious risks for children, including the recruitment of boys into armed groups and the abduction of girls.
Planète Enfants & Développement which has been working alongside the Burkinabe population for 15 years adapts to this context of insecurity and tries to maintain as much as possible the achievements in the field for the development of early childhood. Since the beginning of the year, half of our team has been trained in security management, particularly when traveling in the country, and in education in emergency situations. Our intervention strategy in the country is also being reviewed accordingly.
Planète Enfants & Développement has been developing a project in the Northern Region of Burkina Faso since October 2018, in collaboration with Expertise France and the European Union. The main objective of this project is to contribute to stability in the north of the country, by enabling women to develop their full potential: to have access to better economic opportunities, equal opportunities, security and development.
In addition, Planète Enfants & Développement wants to build the capacity of early childhood educators on education in emergency situations through innovative pedagogical approaches. The association is also planning to create recreational spaces to welcome 3-6 year old children of displaced populations in safe places that will provide them with health and psychosocial protection and basic education. This project is part of the national strategy of the Ministry of Education, Literacy and Promotion of National Languages (MENA/PLN) to promote and maintain the schooling of students in areas with strong security challenges.
Our presence is more important than ever in this context to protect vulnerable children, to offer them the chance to grow up in a safe environment and to break the cycle of violence.