Vocational training helps women in Burkina Faso

By October 31, 2011

Burkina Faso (MNN) — The country of Burkina Faso in west/central Africa is a patriarchal society. The boys receive a preference for almost everything–particularly education. That means girls stay home and aren't able to receive the education they need to make a better life for themselves.

Christian World Outreach is doing something about it, says CWO's Greg Yoder. "One of the things we're doing is offering young ladies some vocational training, especially because they haven't been able to go to school at an early age to learn to read or write." It's called Village of Opportunity.

This month, CWO is celebrating their one-year anniversary of the program in Burkina Faso. Yoder says it's making a big difference in the lives of these women. "It gives them some self worth and dignity and helps them realize that they can make a difference in their families. They can provide for their families. They can do something to encourage their children some day to grow up and learn."

Along with vocational training, these women are being taught basic literacy skills and a little English.

According to Yoder, this is truly a mission field. "The reason we're even doing this is to help meet their physical need, but ultimately their spiritual need. Most of these young ladies come from villages that are either animist or Muslim, or a combination of the two."

This vocational training program isn't impacting only the women, but the village chiefs as well. "They're kind of suspicious at first," says Yoder. "They're not sure they want their young ladies to come to the school. But once they let one of them come, they see the change."

Yoder is asking you to pray for the Village of Opportunity. "Many of these girls may come and have either been instructed by their family or they come with the attitude that they don't want to know anything about this Jesus. But, I want the training. And so, when they do come we quickly see an attitude change."

The big news is a new form of vocational training — cosmetology. Yoder says CWO is sending a container "which has a whole beauty salon. We were able to purchase [it] at a discounted price to start cosmetology classes."

The container should arrive at the end of November. It could take up to a year to get locate and prepare a new room and to get the equipment set up.

Pray that God will use this additional training to reach the hearts and minds of young women for Christ.

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