Burkina Faso: COVID-19 Update
Joseph Koomson is our partner in Burkina Faso. On a normal day before COVID FTH was feeding 8,500 children daily in Burkina Faso. Currently there are only four programs operating in BF. The schools are closed until September or October.
The government initiated a new curfew requiring everyone to be in their homes by midnight. While Joseph has not been able to operate in all the schools they typically are able, he has been visiting the camps of displaced people. There have been quite a few terrorist attacks, which have forced people to leave their homes and livelihoods.
Brother Joseph has been ministering to about 4,000 people in these camps by giving out Red Letter Gospels, Corn Meal, Shoes, Toys, and Canned Goods.
Joseph Koomson directs our feeding program in Burkina Faso. He expects obstacles will come from the extreme poverty of the country. Along with that, he is also dealing with the shutdowns of the pandemic and religious persecution from the north.
In recent months, violence escalated as extremists invaded from the north. On average, 30 to 40 people, mostly Christians, are killed every weekend. A well-known mayor was killed in July. Some 4,000 people have been forced from their homes into refugee camps where they are safe and receive the food you provide.
Amid the violence, the pandemic has kept children from school and their parents from working. These are hard times.
Through it all, Joseph prays and trusts God to provide a way to reach out beyond the feeding lines. Our supply chains are holding strong. Food is arriving. A recent container came with canned vegetables and 50lb. bags of cornmeal along with 7,000 pairs of shoes, given by a donor in the USA. Also in the container were 10,000 copies of the Red
Letter Gospel. Just about every family who came to the distribution centre went home with one.
When the virus passes and the schools reopen, the children will have their daily meals in schools. In the meantime, Joseph is bringing the food to families, and they are coming to feeding centres.
The food and the Gospel message is being shared in the name of Christ.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck it was already seen as a struggling nation where children are the most vulnerable. Not only well known as policitically unstable facing growing threats from extremists but also with systemic food insecurity.
Recent reports suggest that around 500,000 kids under the age of 5 in Burkina Faso are currently suffering acute malnutrition – with 149,000 of those at risk of dying from hunger.
It’s a vicious cycle. Hungry families desperately try to scratch out a living from the land. Children are kept out of school since they’re needed to work the crops. So the next generation remains uneducated, with no hope or power to bring about change. Their poverty and hunger grind on.
But you’re changing that. In partnership with indigenous ministries in Burkina Faso, you’re breaking the cycle – and freeing precious children from the hunger trap. Children like 15-year-old Salamata.
Growing up in an impoverished Muslim family, Salamata has been under the care of Feed The Hungry partners for the last seven years. Not only has she received a steady supply of food to fuel her growth and development, but the guarantee of a daily meal has also allowed her to stay in school. And most importantly, she’s come to know Christ as her Saviour!
Salamata has been freed from the relentless cycle of poverty and hunger, and she looks to the future full of new hope – now and into eternity!
At more than 34 centres across the country, children are receiving the food they crave – as well as the chance to encounter Jesus, the Bread of Life! Your support is freeing so many precious kids from the hunger trap, introducing them to Christ… and showing them the joy of a full life!
Accreditation that will take place and the documents to be presented to the government so they can remain in good standing and continue receiving containers of food as a non-profit for the next year.