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Burkina Faso Supplementary Article

Supplementary Article

Love Looks Like Something

Fina an assessment of IN Burkina Faso Programs Below

Love Looks Like Something: An Assessment of IN Burkina Faso Programs

Jeff Johnson, IN USA President, along with Danny Morris and Edmond Vanderpuye from the IN-Network offices visited Burkina Faso to assess the humanitarian crisis brought on by the terror-induced violence there. Jean Kone, Director of IN Burkina Faso (INBF), and his team have found themselves at the heart of a growing emergency. Faced with a humanitarian crisis presented by over 400,000 thousand displaced people that has put pressure on the INBF ministries, the INBF team is being asked to provide emergency assistance to displaced groups, find 300 more places in the school for displaced children, and increase the medical center’s capacity to receive more traffic from displaced and traumatized people. Jeff provides a brief glimpse into the state of these ministries.

These ministries are under duress but they are thriving and as you will see implementing many creative and necessary projects to meet this emergency head on!

The Medical Center

At the St Ophel Medical Center operated by INBF, a few years before trees had been planted around the medical center which has created a shaded canopy for locals waiting for treatment. The medical center was built in 2009 with a maternity unit added in 2017. Owing to the increase in people fleeing to Bobo it treated 49,000 people last year, an increase of 58%. “In 2022, 1,398 babies were born healthy and safely delivered in our maternity unit with a team of nurses and extremely skilled midwives Maternal mortality rates are extremely high in Burkina Faso. This resource is a lifesaver for thousands of mothers. Now with an outbreak of Dengue fever, malaria, and typhoid beginning to spread coupled with the influx of displaced people carrying with them the physical and emotional effect of violence, the Center is faced with immense needs and one of the few non-governmental Christian health centers in the area.

During Jeff’s visit to the INBF La Bonne Nouvelle school, the team was hoping not to disturb the students who had been studying hard for their exams. In true Burkina Faso fashion, however, they were greeted by over 750 children cheering and waving. “As we entered each classroom there were many dreams shared of those studying to become engineers, medics, midwives, policewomen, or soldiers.”

A Warm Welcome: Students at La Bonne Nouvelle

Speaking about the impact of International Needs at the school, Jeff highlighted the pressure the school is facing to provide education support for 300 children at La Bonne Nouvelle school, who fled violence in the countryside and have found peace, restoration, and a conducive learning environment. Many were deeply traumatized by the shocking events that have happened to them, or to people they love. This has put an even deeper strain on the school staff.

In response, INUK implemented a trauma counseling and therapeutic activities intervention to bring some peace to them, re-establish their lives, and help them learn. Building upon that program, IN USA is now planning to bring a specialized spiritually-based trauma training curriculum to train the teachers and staff of the school in ways to support the unique needs of those children. As Jeff, along with his wife Danette (author of the curriculum) pointed out, “You can provide all the classrooms, textbooks, and education you want but if the children can’t be helped to move past their emotional trauma the education impact will be minimized.” Giving the teachers and others who help these kids a better understanding of the trauma impact along with practical and spiritual tools to help these children begin to heal from their trauma and they will begin to thrive.

Jeff finished by relating just how striking and how vividly real faith coupled with a practical demonstration of the love of Christ intersects with people’s real needs. As Jeff pointed out, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of Love… and that love needs to look like something.” This is exactly what is happening in the programs of INBF… and it is happening in the midst of an incredibly dark time.

Supplementary Article

Love Looks Like Something

Fina an assessment of IN Burkina Faso Programs Below

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