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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...
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ACTS is known as an advocate for women and will continue to fight against ignorance through a project called, Empowerment of Women in Rural Areas. Many women are already enrolled in our programs, but for this pilot project, we plan to begin with only a small number (270) who live closer to the ACTS Center. In 2010, more than 9,000 women were enrolled in ACTS programs for women. Most of them live in remote villages.

ACTS Ministry empowers village women and children who are AIDS victims in order to bring them self esteem, show them God’s love in tangible ways and give them hope for the future.

The newest literacy program for ACTS impacts the village of Saonré in the department of Komsilga in Burkina Faso West Africa. ACTS ministers to 180 widows and 725 children as well as more than 1,500 individuals within walking distance to Saonré.

ACTS women's program reaches women in villages that are a distance away from the ACTS Center. There are too many cultural taboos that have taken away women’s sense of value. Women are afraid of taking initiative as leaders in the church and in their communities. Lack of women’s leadership slows the development of the country.

ACTS reaches individuals who are the poorest of Burkinabé society. They are broken by ignorance, poverty and hopelessness. They have no means or tools to break the cycle of poverty. ACTS ministers the love of Christ to them in practical ways to bring them to salvation.

Women who have never had an opportunity to attend school find they can learn to read.

Providing an opportunity to learn how to read, write and count is a giant step forward for rural women. Once a woman completes the program and final exam, she will receive a certificate issued by the government for those who can read. With the literacy certificate women will be legally able to own land and/or form a business.

It will be easier for them to obtain micro-credits to undertake their income generating activities. In addition, they will learn how to better manage their finances and income generating activities.

A prerequisite for the ACTS income generation program will be the completion of a functional literacy program. This will give them the proper skills to develop a viable business.

Women will be carefully selected and must meet the selection criteria set by ACTS. Only motivated widows who agree to attend classes and train others will be allowed to enrol in the training. Widows and other vulnerable women who are involved in the project are those who are motivated to learn and show potential to launch an income generating activity.

ACTS was able to gain some experience in conducting similar projects in the past therefore this is a proof that the intended results will be achieved. In addition the project will be implemented in a peaceful area.

The project is endorsed by the mayor of the community of Komsilga and other government officials in the district who are encouraging the development of competencies of human resources.   

Women who have never had an opportunity to attend school find they can learn to read.

The functional literacy programme for widows and women will use books already produced by Editions Contact on pertinent subjects for women, including women’s rights, AIDS, micro-credit, peace and justice.

Trainers were selected from among the women to increase the effectiveness of the courses.

Training is in Mooré, the dialect spoken by the majority of the population in the country. Mooré is one of 66 dialects spoken.

This project supports the development of literacy in the sense that it integrates literacy and income generating activities training. This program transforms women living in the rural community.

Women will be able to read about issues that affect their daily lives.

They will read and learn from books promoting peace and justice, gain spiritual knowledge through Bible study, read about peace building and become aware of better health measures and hygiene.

Beyond the literacy and income generating activities training, these women start small businesses so that they will eventually be able to earn income, feed their children, send their children to school, provide medical care for their children, and fight against poverty.

In the village of Saonré ACTS trains women so that they have security and purpose:

  • Life skills education for women and children at risk,
  • Literacy classes for women,
  • Spiritual training conferences center for women,
  • Library for the community in rural area,

Through a life skills education program 9,000 women are learning how to support their families and the addition of literacy training will build their self esteem.

Upon completion of spiritual training conferences and literacy program women will: 

  • Read their Bible for spiritual growth

  • Receive official certificate for 3-year program from Ministry of Education

  • With the official certificate, women will be able to own a business and purchase property
  • Understand the micro-enterprise projects and provide income for daily living

  • Learn basics principles of budgeting and finance for family income

  • Understand life issues and be involved in helping others in their community

  • Contribute to the improvement of their churches

  • Use their knowledge to encourage their children and give them hope for the future

This is a way out from material and spiritual poverty for women who are the poorest ones in the country.


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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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