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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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ACTS Programs Have Reached More Than 4,500 Women

ACTS Ministry was founded by Joanna Ilboudo, a woman unique for her time and country. She founded ACTS as an organization envisioned, planned and implemented by indigenous women.

The effects of poverty are discussed by world leaders as they meet together. As long as the leaders suggest stop-gap solutions and don't look close enough to see people groups as individuals with rights and dignity, the poor are locked in a cycle of poverty, sickness and ignorance.

ACTS philosophy is that sustainable development cannot be realized until women have access to basic necessities of life and education. ACTS empowers women through training in Biblical truths, literacy, income generation and micro-enterprise, immediate medical care, practical life skill training and promotion of human rights.

Women involved in the ACTS program grow in faith, in confidence and in hope.

Programs to Empower Women include:

  1. Literacy is encouraged. Village women rarely attend school when young. They have no reading or writing skills and have no way to learn about the world around them. Literacy opens a world of knowledge and empowers women for meaningful endeavors.

  2. Women's Co-op Program – small groups discuss issues, given training in leadership and business ethics,  taught steps to develop a viable business, encouraged to enlarge their vision, learn their value as valuable members of the community—all while increasing their income and becoming a cohesive group.

  3. Vocational programs allow women to choose avenues for money making projects.

  4. Micro-enterprise gives women tools they need to initiate, manage and work a trade.

  5. Medical care including dental is offered at affordable prices for village families. Widows and orphans are given special discounts or receive some treatment and vitamins without cost. Women gather in groups to discuss immediate issues, receive lessons in basic hygiene and other immediate issues relating to village life.

  6. Grain is distributed during the “lean time” prior to harvests or times of national crop failure and famine.

  7. Women can bring grain for milling at the ACTS Center and pay a modest fee. This saves lots of time and energy.

  8. Women can buy bread at the ACTS Center. The village had no bakery, which meant no bread was available, prior to the construction of the ACTS bakery.

  9. Makes loans available for women who have completed micro finance training. Despite obstacles, women in Burkina Faso can overcome them and bring lasting change to their lives, their children and their community.

  10. Human rights promotion is built into our program so that women will come to understand mercy and justice. This breaks the cycle of AIDS and poverty in the lives of the most vulnerable people of Burkinabé society. ACTS meets with village leaders to discuss issues relevant to women and their family.  ACTS provides a platform for women to discuss the evils of female genital mutation. A book, Mercy For My Sister, addressing the problems of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) will be published in French and English. This book that will encourage women to help one another and to take a place of leadership in their own community. It will sensitize women and young girls as they read and share an experience much like their own. ACTS seeks to identify, support and equip women to become agents of change and instil vision for change among others living in poverty. Click here to read about book and film project.

  11. A majority of the poor in Burkina Faso do not have a birth certificate. ACTS, with the approval of the government, fills out the necessary paperwork for village women and children to obtain birth certificates.

  12. A church,Temple Evangélique El Roï, was established to meet the spiritual needs of villagers. A full-time pastor is on staff. Regular worship, prayer and Bible study are available to women. ACTS staff members are well-trained Christian workers. Evangelistic efforts reach those in the community who have not had access to a church. Our work is a witness to the love of God for the poor. It is known by all that those involved in the ACTS work are followers of Christ.

  13. ACTS publishing division provides literature pertinent to women and village life. Pamphlets, training materials, Bible studies, post-literacy educational booklets on areas of interest to women are all published and distributed by ACTS.


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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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Click here to read about ACTS newest program to empower women.


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