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Busy at work: Burkina Faso youth building the future

For years, Burkina Faso has ranked among the world’s poorest countries. Recurring drought, military coups and political unrest have played a big part in the nation’s economic slump.

Over 15 million people live Burkina Faso and youth make up almost half the population. That means the future is up to Burkina Faso’s young. But are they ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead?

The way of the future

With the help of the Canadian government, we’re preparing Burkinabe youth for the future by increasing their employment opportunities.

It all starts at education centres where students gain the relevant knowledge to prepare them for real careers. Next, they transition to professional training centres, where they’ll learn the hands-on skills needed to enter the labour market.

Take a look at Burkina Faso’s future welders, woodworkers, tailors and auto mechanics in action:

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  • A group of students get a hands-on lesson at the auto shop. Today's lesson is all about motorcycles.

    A group of students get a hands-on lesson at the auto shop. Today's lesson is all about motorcycles.

  • The inside of one of the youth education centres after being rehabilitated.

    The inside of one of the youth education centres after being rehabilitated.

  • One of the trainers teaching an eager group the basics in woodworking.

    One of the trainers teaching an eager group the basics in woodworking.

  • A promising student carefully saws wood for his project.

    A promising student carefully saws wood for his project.

  • Students busy assembling wooden chairs in the woodworking workshop.

    Students busy assembling wooden chairs in the woodworking workshop.

  • This student's chair is taking shape. It looks like it's almost ready to sell at the market.

    This student's chair is taking shape. It looks like it's almost ready to sell at the market.

  • This student uses sand paper to sand down the wood before applying a final coat of varnish.

    This student uses sand paper to sand down the wood before applying a final coat of varnish.

  • A shot of the final products ready for sale at the local market

    A shot of the final products ready for sale at the local market

  • This student works with various metals at one of the welding workshops.

    This student works with various metals at one of the welding workshops.

  • His handy work pays off: a brand new wheel barrel is ready for use.

    His handy work pays off: a brand new wheel barrel is ready for use.

  • A master trainer gives a lesson from the front of the class.

    A master trainer gives a lesson from the front of the class.

  • A group of advanced tailors masterfully assemble dresses for the market.

    A group of advanced tailors masterfully assemble dresses for the market.

  • Fabrics, rulers and measuring tape: students are ready to take on the next sewing project.

    Fabrics, rulers and measuring tape: students are ready to take on the next sewing project.

  • A group of students get a hands-on lesson at the auto shop. Today's lesson is all about motorcycles.

    A group of students get a hands-on lesson at the auto shop. Today's lesson is all about motorcycles.

  • The inside of one of the youth education centres after being rehabilitated.

    The inside of one of the youth education centres after being rehabilitated.

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Bright minds at work

So far, the project has supported the career development of 1,100 youth, 50% of whom are female. Additionally, Plan has:

  • Rehabilitated 10 education centres and rebuilt 2 more
  • Constructed 13 school kitchens to feed the students
  • Trained new school management committees
  • Updated all training manuals and textbooks
  • Trained 91 teachers at professional training centres and education centres

Additionally we’re still in the progress of building 13 new workshops and outfitting them with training supplies for various trades.

In the years to come, the project aims to enroll close to 4,000 youth at education centres and 6,400 at the professional training centres to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to secure a livelihood. The ultimate goal is to ensure all youth participating in the programs are employed or self-employed in the coming years.

When Burkina Faso’s youth are armed with knowledge and training, they’ll be ready to take on their bright futures, and prepared to help lead the country to a prosperous result.

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