Burkina Faso Project Concept Paper
Project Title: Empowering the Women in Poverty and HIV/AIDS Vulnerability for Self-reliance in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, with per capita income of 1,130 USD in 2006.
While the democratic government is politically stable, pervasive poverty and all other related social
problems profoundly affect the welfare of the general population, especially disadvantaged groups,
including women and children.
Among many problems in Burkina Faso, never-ending spread of HIV/AIDS, currently counting 130,000
infected according to a UNAIDS/WHO report in 2008 (population 14,785,000), is one of the most dire
predicaments faced by Burkina Faso at present. About 1.6% of those aged between 15 and 49 are
infected, and a majority of those infected are women. Women are far more at risk of being infected
than men. Thanks to governmental efforts, HIV infection rate decreased from 7% to 2% among
antenatal women since 2006. The social and personal impact of HIV/AIDS in this country is devastating
and far reaching. Approximately 120,000 children have lost a parent to HIV/AIDS. The estimated annual
loss in GDP growth per capita due to AIDS will reach 0.8 % by 2010.
Lack of resources and access to quality health care are the immediate causes of the HIV/AIDS epidemic
in Burkina Faso. However, women are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to social and cultural practices
and patterns based on patriarchal tradition. Women’s traditionally low status, lack of self-sufficiency,
and lack of education make them vulnerable to conditions that lead to HIV infection, such as
unprotected sex, prostitution, and marital rape.
EWB and its global partners believe that empowering and capacity-building for illiterate and poor
women of Burkina Faso thus helping women achieve more active role in the family and society is
fundamental to combating this epidemic in Burkina Faso. Providing women with learning opportunities,
basic health information, and job skills is an essential step towards self-reliant development. This
empowerment of women is critical in dealing with HIV/Aids. Furthermore, these women will play a key
role for their families and communities in alleviating extreme poverty in the region.
Objectives and Outcomes:
EWB will apply an integrated approach of various educative programs, each of which has been
separately proved its effects in Africa: literacy campaign, basic life-skill training, HIV/AID prevention
education, income-generating skill training, and micro-credit for income-generation activities with
micro-scholarship. The ground work to reduce poverty in Burkina Faso lies in improving women’s
competence, welfare and status. We plan to support a good number of community-based learning
centers in 45 provinces in Burkina Faso. The projected recipients are 10,000 adults (75% women, 25%
men) and their children. The Figure 1 shows the composition of the integrated program.
Figure 1 EWB’s integrated approach
The primary goals of these centers are: (a) to increase literacy among women, (b) to provide them with
knowledge and information concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and general health and sex education, and
(c) to provide learning opportunities to acquire income generating skills.
Our long-term goal is to utilize these community-based learning centers as a focal point to provide
resources and opportunities to maintain these improved living conditions. Specifically, we plan (1) to
provide contraceptives (condoms) and nutrition supplements to improve general health conditions,(2)
to provide micro-credit loans to disadvantaged women to launch small businesses, (3) to grant small
scale scholarships to children to promote education of their children.
We plan to work with locally organized life-long learning NGOs for this project. They will play a key and
active role in designing and implementing culturally relevant educational curricula and managing this
project around 45 local learning centers.
Project Period: 4 years (2010-2013)
Project Cost and Financing:
Project Benefits: This project aims (1) to build capacity, provide income generating skills, and improve
living conditions for illiterate and extremely poor women, (2) to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to
increase prevention, and (3) to serve as a role model anti-poverty campaign for neighboring poor