In Burkina Faso, where Mani Tese has been active for almost 30 years with sustainable development projects for local communities, the Coronavirus has added to and exacerbated a crisis already underway due to growing desertification, poverty and the advancement of terrorism.

Obviously, the number of hospitals is also low in the country and for this reason the population, especially the rural one, mainly turns to the so-called “Health Centers“, small village clinics where people go for minor injuries, minor illnesses or even to give birth.

Already in contact with the village health centers of three regions thanks to an ongoing project about the rights of women and children and the promotion of health and civil status services, Mani Tese has accepted the request to make these places more equipped for prevent the spread of the virus.

It then purchased sanitizing kits (hand washing, buckets, soap, hydroalcoholic gel, disinfectant, bleach, rags, gloves, masks, brooms) for 15 village health centers in 3 regions of the African country (Plateau Central, Centre Sud and Centre) and the first delivery took place at the governorate of Ziniaré (Plateau Central) a few weeks ago.

The kits were carried on two huge pick-ups overflowing with buckets and iron structures, with brooms tucked into every available corner and ropes to hold it all together (obviously after loading the above-mentioned pick-ups, in the 40 degree sun, nullifying any attempt to arrive clean and tidy at the ceremony… but after all, what does it matter? It is much more important to get the necessary!).

In Ziniaré, the governor and the entire Covid-19 emergency response committee of the region were waiting for us, as well as some beneficiary organizations of the project, who came to support us at this particular moment. The ceremony was simple but very significant: the governor was almost moved by thanking us for the support we are giving, despite the dramatic situation in our own country of origin, Italy.

We also had a nice surprise: the groups of women participating in the project, at their expense, had invited a singer who performed in a performance of song and dance, the subject of “gestes barrière”: the theme was all those gestures of prevention that is good practice in this situation (wearing a mask, washing hands, sneezing in the crook of the elbow, etc.). The women also had to pay for the generator, because obviously there was no electricity!

We returned from this journey positive and charged, happy with the gesture made and aware that fortunately many around us are moving in the same direction and that in this way we will make it. Because never as on this occasion, is the case to reiterate the Burkinabé motto par excellence: on est ensemble (we are together).

This virus is teaching us that, even if we are all victims, we still have the opportunity to look beyond our backyard: in Italy we have received support from many countries around the world. Here in Burkina Faso, where Mani Tese has been a welcomed and integrated guest for years, it was right to do our part: so we rolled up our sleeves to give our contribution.

This action is part of the activities of the project “Social and rights promotion of women and children for the improvement of health and civil status services“, co-financed by the European Union and which we are carrying out in consortium with the ACRA Foundation (leading partner) and the NGOs Asmade, the Community of Sant’Egidio and the federation of rural women of Burkina Faso (Fenafer-B).


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