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Stories of transformation and empowerment...

Senior Advisor and Founder
Joanna ILBOUDO, tells about the beginning of ACTS. Read about ACTS formation...
Then, read Joanna's vision for the poor...


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Aliou, Séverin and Abdou


A proverb in Burkina Faso says:


Empty bellies have no ears to learn lessons in school.
Empty bellies have no ears to hear the Gospel.

When Aliou, Séverin and Abdou first came to the ACTS Center they couldn't believe there was enough food to fill their bellies. In fact they would hide a portion of their food in case they weren't fed the next day. Now they trust ACTS to feed them and no longer hoard food.

Some students that attend the ACTS' schools take part of their lunch home with them to feed siblings. It is not uncommon for a village child to eat once in three days during the "lean times" of the year.

Village families are mostly subsistence farmers. This means that they barely provide food for their families in good years. Village farmers wait for the "rainy" season and rush out to plant while the soil is moist enough to germinate the seeds. The problem with subsistence farming is that the country suffers too many years of drought and famine.

"Lean times" are the period after the previous year's supply has run out and the next crop is harvested. Mothers begin to serve a meal only once every three days. In poor years, food runs out long before the new season crops can be planted. After the leaves are eaten from all the trees, they mix soil with water and feed it to crying children just to fill up their bellies.

The number of orphans who come to the ACTS Center and ask to stay there are increasing.

We do not have enough room to house more orphans at the present time. We are waiting for funds to build more for girls and one for boys.

ACTS serves more than 3,500 meals a week to hungry boys and girls. Children who attend ACTS schools from the village are fed  one meal at the Center each day. Orphans who live at the Center are fed three meals. Click here to read how you can help feed orphans and students.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world with a GNI per capita of just US $540. More than 90% of the population are subsistence farmers. Inflation has hit the everyone in Burkina Faso. Those to whom ACTS ministers suffer under the crushing poverty. Food, fuel, cement for homes, other good and services have become much too expensive for these people.

The country has very little manufacturing facilities and few resources. All goods must be ocean shipped to a country with a seacoast and then trucked overland to the country of Burkina Faso. This impacts the cost of everything in the markets.

In most years famine is right around the corner. Rural poor wait for the planting season while their meager food supply dwindles.

Cost and shortage of rice makes it more and more difficult to feed the orphans. Most days Joanna can still find rice at the market but the price keeps rising, almost daily. Rice and other staples are often rationed. A sack of rice now costs the equivalent of US$48, an increase of 80% over the two years.

This is what makes meals shipped from mission organizations in the US so vital to the well-being of the village children who attend ACTS schools.


[Read more about ACTS program for children.]






















ACTS Center in Saonré is dedicated to giving a hand up and not a handout to the forgotten ones of Burkina Faso...widows and orphans.

"Seeking a Way Out" and other videos can be viewed. Click to see a list of films about ACTS and the people we serve....

We would be pleased to hear comments or receive questions from you. Click for contact information... Merci


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