Nabaloum Boureima, the Director-General of the Programme Nationale de Volontariat au Burkina Faso [Burkina Faso National Volunteering Programme – PNVB] explains the role that volunteers, particularly female volunteers, play in Burkina Faso’s development.
The role of volunteers in Burkina Faso’s development
Burkina Faso has a long-standing history of volunteerism thanks to a tradition that is steeped in solidarity and mutual aid, and this is reflected in its traditional and modern volunteering and civic engagement practices. Building on this, since its establishment in 2008, PNVB, a public entity, has mobilized more than 48,000 national volunteers through its programmes, the majority of whom are young women and girls. Volunteers support several key priority areas, among them health, decentralization and education. As part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, in 2020, 14,172 volunteers provided services to over 7 million people. Besides the national volunteers mobilized by PNVB, some other volunteer initiatives have been implemented across the 13 regions of the country, among them the Volunteer Security Auxiliaries (VADS) programme which, since 2013, has mobilized more than 10,000 volunteers, of whom 35 percent are women. There is also the Green Brigade which has more than 3,000 female volunteers who, over the past 22 years, have contributed to improving urban sanitation and ensured a healthy living environment.