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Senior Advisor and Founder
Joanna ILBOUDO, tells about the beginning of ACTS. Read about ACTS formation...
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Drama underscores plight of street children

In 1996 the short story, Au nom de la Foi, written by Joanna Ilboudo, received a prize by the Burkina Faso National Literature Contest promoting national and local writers. The title was changed in 2010 to “La foi… Et mes droits?”  In English this means “faith and what about my rights?” The story, based on the testimonies of real children, introduces readers to a little child who begs in the streets at the direct order of his Koranic master.
Families send their little children to be schooled and fed at the homes of Islamic leaders. These so called teachers of the Koran use poor boys and girls as beggars on the streets of Ouagadougou. This practice leads to the death of many young children.
Child abuse is a critical but unspoken issue in Burkinabé society. In 2010 ACTS received a grant from a foundation to produce the book in French, Mooré and Djula. Since our work is among poor and vulnerable children, we felt the book and screen play was an appropriate project for ACTS publishing arm, Editions Contact.
When we finished the revision we asked several people who specialize in assisting vulnerable children, to evaluate the manuscript. Here is feedback from three of these individuals.
One resource person by the name Maurice Kobo Ouédraogo, who works with PLAN Burkina, adding his input and wrote: “Congratulations for this work done with much research! This is something needed and will be very welcomed in all circles where people are working for the promotion of children’s rights.”
The chairman of ACTS board, Pastor Jean Charles Kabré said about the book: “This is coming out at the right time; it is a relevant topic for our country and even for other neighboring countries; remember that in Senegal the problem of Muslim kids begging on the street has been cause for trouble this year, therefore I can say that you have brought appropriate attention to this sensitive issue. Congratulations!”
Mariam Drabo who works at UNICEF wrote: “You have done a wonderful work that can be used to sensitize people who do not understand the importance of the right for a child to be educated; thank you very much for sharing this with me.”
To address a wider audience, a screenplay was written based on the book “La foi… Et mes droits?” ACTS is currently seeking funding to fully produce the screenplay for TV and film. The plight of children forced to work on the streets is a subject normally ignored by Burkinabé society. This is a current reality of society that should be brought to public awareness. This story provides a great opportunity for advocacy on behalf of the poor because it is adapted from true life testimonies from actual children of Ouagadougou
ACTS Ministry brings love and hope to mother and child, smoothing their pain and sorrows. Programs focus on restoring human dignity to poor and vulnerable children. As president of Christian NGO’s in Burkina Faso, Joanna Ilboudo would like to reduce the number of children being forced into a life of begging. Other NGOs in Burkina Faso are ready to focus efforts on this issue.
With funding from USAID, ACTS Ministry will be given the opportunity to produce the film, market it to local TV networks and anyone interested in a tool for advocacy for the poor abused children in Burkina Faso. The book and film will also be marketed in other French-speaking countries such as Mali and Niger where Islamic leaders are doing the same thing.
During the past seven years, literature offered by Editions Contact has been the bridge between ecclesiastical and secular groups. Though we continue to use literature in our ministry, we have been able to expand our market and reach more people. Our goal is to introduce principles that prick the conscious, build integrity and high morals and yet are produced in a way so that all can understand.
We have seen the growing interest in the kind of books published by ACTS Editions Contact because they really meet physical and spiritual needs. Readers have said that our books “are answers to our needs and yet we did not know where to go to find these answers.”  We believe ACTS is in a position to address the problem of street children and child abuse.




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