BURCASO & Planned Parenthood Global, Burkina Faso

What does it look like when you invite youth leaders in Burkina Faso to come up with ideas on how to make sure their peers have access to sexual health information  and services? 

It looks like theater performances and football tournaments. Conversations with village leaders and entrepreneurial workshops. Massive events in schools  and young women and girls receiving menstrual health information and sanitary packages to manage their menstrual health and stay in school . It looks like over 1,500 young people receiving information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) which is crucial in helping them navigate their world now and in future. 

Last year Move92 partnered with Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America  and BURCASO, a local organization from Burkina Faso. Move92 provided a US$10,000 grant that would allow youth leaders to propose their own projects to bring SRHR to their peers in more rural and marginalized parts of Burkina Faso. This was part of a larger project that focused on reaching young people in urban areas. The funding for this project was restricted to only urban areas which meant that most of the youth in rural areas were excluded

The BURCASO  team put out an open call for proposals from youth leaders around the country, and ended up selecting five different projects that took place in three different parts of the country. 

Project 1 – “Empower You”

  • Empower You provided young people with information about SRHR through campaigns on social media and in the local communities. They also provided training in how to produce various artisanal crafts such as scarves, handbags, and decorative tools. This project served over 200 young people. 

Project 2 –SHRH DEDU ONE” 

  • SHRH DEDU ONE used football and theater to attract over 500 young people to learn more about their SRHR. They hosted two different football tournaments where information was disseminated during and after the events, and group conversations were held. They also put on theater performances which highlighted various real world scenarios related to the challenges and impacts of SRHR. 

Project 3 – “Young! But Aware of Your Rights in Sexual and Reproductive Health”

  • This project set up large youth conferences at local high schools to engage youth in conversations about SRHR. They also organized three mobile clinics offering free contraceptive services to young people. In total they reached 375 youth.

Project 4 – “Prevention and Awareness-Raising for Young Girls in Night Clubs”

  • This project worked with over 300 young women to provide them with information and contraceptives and worked with 53 young women to train them how to produce reusable sanitary pads, which can be sold. Both allowing for young women to have access to sanitary pads and providing young female entrepreneurs opportunities. 

Project 5 – “‘My Role’ Initiative”

  • The “My Role” Initiative focused on conversations around personal values and SRHR and in partnership with local traditional leaders, they ran 8 different sessions that allowed for a dialogue with 338 young people. In addition they also were able to organize providing direct health services to 115 youth. 

Burkina Faso is a country where 75% of the population is under the age of 35. In addition, because of armed conflict in its Northern and Eastern regions, there are over 2 million internally displaced people (IDPs), and many health centers are either closed or barely functioning. This means that millions of young people struggle to access important information and services related to their own sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

Despite the challenges that come with this kind of situation, every call that we have had with Planned Parenthood Global and BURCASO teams, has left us feeling inspired and hopeful. While we’re excited that these projects were able to reach so many young people in these rural regions, what we’re most excited about was getting the chance to invest in the young leaders who put together these projects. These young leaders, their innovative ideas, and the support they receive from dedicated mentors like the ones from PP Global and BURCASO, make us feel that there is a lot to be hopeful for. 

Want to learn more about this project? 

If you are interested in learning more about this project and our partners involved, check out the following links:

GOOD NEWS

The Burkinabè Youth Leading the Charge on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

BURCASO & Planned Parenthood Global, Burkina Faso
01/05/2024