Emmaus Solidarity Ouaga (ESO) leads an initiative to provide support for the children of vulnerable families in the city of Ouagadougou and nearby areas.
The sewing centre was created in 1996 and its goal is to train young people who were either unable or not fortunate enough to continue with their education after primary school.
This training helps them to get the job they want later on. In order to help a few young people we started out by offering training in a small room which was only large enough for six students. The classes were led in this room for three years but in the fourth year we had a new class of six young people and given the increasing number of applicants for just six places the association decided to look into finding the resources required to build a space that could host 20 students.
ESO thus decided to set aside some of the money saved from the sales of the materials in the containers received from European Emmaus groups in order to be able to build these spaces. The new buildings meant we could create three classes - a first year class, a second year and a third year.
Due to the students’ success in the CQP (Certificate of Professional Qualification) exam and thanks to the rising demand for places the Japanese Embassy in Burkina Faso gave ESO a grant in 2014. This grant enabled us to build three new classrooms, thus extending the centre.
The centre has six classes of 20 students each, so we have 120 students in total.
The main activity we run is sewing training mainly for young girls as they are the group which has shown the most interest in these activities.
Awareness raising activities are led in order to prepare the students for life in the working world once they have finished the programme (we talk about banks, social initiatives, environmental projects, etc.).
At the end of the three-year programme the students take a national exam called the CQP (Certificate of Professional Qualification).
• The students and their families
• The Parents' Association
• The committee which generally monitors the students and the teachers
• The committee which monitors and evaluates the students and the teachers
• The six teachers
• The external people the association asks for help to evaluate the students and teachers at the end of the school year
- The Boulmiougou authorities for administrative support and for their help for partnerships
- Emmaus International for technical and solidarity support
- Action Sociale for awareness raising work about early pregnancies and other initiatives with young people
- Caisse Populaire and the Bank of Africa for their help and products as well as their awareness raising work about how to open a bank account
- The Japanese Embassy in Burkina Faso for its financial and technical support
- The Bosnia-Burkina-France partnership (with the FIS group in Bosnia and the Limoges, Angoulême, Ruffec and Niort groups in France)
Sewing training center.
Some of the results of the CQP (Certificate of Professional Qualification) exam
Given the current situation and the weaknesses we have noted we must:
- work towards gaining official recognition by the school authorities for the sewing centre
- raise awareness and encourage the young people who complete their sewing training to work together in cooperatives
- to widen the scope of our offer of trades to young people – we could include more men by creating a welding centre, for example - as well as offering training on hairdressing, the food and beverage industry, etc.
- The best outcome is that the young people get a national diploma and can teach classes or open workshops, becoming financially independent
- Thanks to our activity ESO has become well known in Burkina Faso and Emmaus' work is recognised and promoted in the country
- Our sewing centre has been recognised for the quality of training on offer
- Our centre has been recognised by the State and is chosen every year to host the examiners who organise and run the CQP examination for around 80 candidates
• To purchase a multi-purpose room for our students' practical work
• To gain financial and material support for the sewing cooperatives which will be launched with the young people who have completed their training
• To prioritise former students as teachers
• To have the resources required for helping the young people who have completed their training get micro-credit so that they can start their activities