Burkina FasoBurkina Faso

Washroom facilities

Building new sanitation facilities for 11 church partners in Burkina Faso, restoring health and dignity to children

Water & SanitationWater & Sanitation
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The Need

Compassion’s church partners across Burkina Faso long to be a haven for children and families—a place where boys and girls can receive the love, care and support that they need and deserve, regardless of their social or economic status. But for 11 of our partners, the lack of decent, safe washroom facilities was a major obstacle.

With only a single, dilapitated toilet at each centre, children were forced to wait in long lines every time they needed to use the washroom. Many were resorting to relieving themselves outdoors, contributing to environmental pollution and driving the spread of hygiene-related diseases like cholera, diarrhea and intestinal worms. With children falling sick so frequently, our partners were also spending large portions of their budget on medical needs. The situation was unsustainable and posed a real threat to children’s long-term health and safety.

Our partners knew that installing proper, safe washrooms at their facilities would make a drastic difference for the children and families they are serving. Each church had set aside a piece of land and some building materials to help construct new washroom facilities. But to see this important intervention through to completion, they needed help.

Our Response

Thanks to your love in action, 11 church partners in Burkina Faso received support to construct water and sanitation hygiene facilities to serve a combined 3,166 beneficiary children in their care. A steering committee at each church took responsibility for managing funds, hiring contractors and overseeing the construction process. An inception meeting was held with the leadership of each of the participating church partners, a representative of each steering committee and partnership facilitators to explain the project requires and review roles and responsibilities to ensure quality and timely implementation of the project. A civil engineer was hired to design the blueprints, assess the building sites and ensure the construction was done with excellence. Construction firms were hired through a bidding process.

Most churches broke ground in early April 2022, starting with levelling the ground and digging septic pits. Next, masons constructed foundations, walls and concrete slabs. Each ventilated facility includes three latrines for girls, two latrines for boys, a shower and a set of sinks with two taps for hand washing. Contractors completed the finishing touches, including roofing, plastering, painting, electrical wiring, tiling and plumbing to ensure the quality facilities can be used for many years to come.

By January 2023, local health professionals hosted hygiene workshops to train children, caregivers and Compassion centre staff on best practices in using the new washrooms and taps, as well as daily habits to combat preventable illnesses. In addition to the centre staff and beneficiaries, a total of 1,791 caregivers participated in the training and are now equipped to protect their children’s health and prevent the spread of disease.

Two churches (BF1010 and BF1013) faced regional insecurity during implementation, which prohibited the civil engineer from monitoring construction closely and prevented one church from hosting in-person hygiene workshops. However, both churches are happy to report that after five months of hard work, the children are enjoying their newly constructed sanitation facilities where they can use the washroom with privacy, safety and dignity.


Inauguration ceremonies: Church pastors hosted inauguration ceremonies—complete with ribbon cutting—to celebrate the achievement of the new sanitation facilities. These joyous events were attended by beneficiary families, staff and denomination representatives.

Modern sanitation facilities: All 11 church partners are thankful for the newly constructed sanitation facilities on site, including separate washrooms for boys and girls, hand washing sinks and taps and a shower. Children no longer practise open defecation at the Compassion centres.

Hygiene training: Professional trainers provided practical training for children, caregivers and staff to learn about the benefits and protocols of daily personal hygiene habits and how to use the new facilities properly.

Your Gift Provides...

Your support has helped 11 Compassion church partners in Burkina Faso construct safe washroom facilities and hand washing stations, including:

• Landscaping
• Trench infrastructure: excavation, reinforced concrete, bricklaying, waterproof coating
• Superstructure: reinforced concrete, ramps and steps, masonry work
• Framing, roofing and waterproofing
• Metal joinery and installation of metal doors and windows
• Sanitary plumbing, including showers and floor drains
• Electrical wiring and installation of light fixtures
• Coating and tiling
• Painting
• Hygiene education training: two training sessions each for 11 centres, snacks and refreshments and child-friendly educational murals
• Technical controller fees
• Project monitoring, meetings and inauguration ceremonies

Pastor Danaan, Compassion centre BF0165

ReportA message from a pastor

This intervention has impacted the children’s lives by helping to eradicate hygiene-related diseases. It is worth noting that the participants have begun to exhibit good hygienic behaviours such as regular hand washing after using the toilets and before and after meals.

This intervention was beneficial to my church and community by providing us with an adequate place to relieve ourselves. In fact, the infrastructural capacity of our church has increased, making it easier for us to accommodate social and spiritual events. At the community level, this intervention has allowed our church to raise community awareness on the importance of constructing and using household toilets.

The new sanitation facility has also improved the working conditions of church leadership and centre staff and empowered us to better serve the participants. It has strengthened our development initiatives because we now “walk the walk and talk the talk,” which increases trust in our interactions with the community.

I would like to thank you for funding this intervention, which is benefiting even more people in addition to the participants. My prayer is that the Lord Jesus Christ will bless the work of your hands.

Pastor Danaan, Compassion centre BF0165
Kambou, a beneficiary at Compassion centre BF0958

ReportA message from those your gift helped

Before the construction of the toilets, my classmates and I used to relieve ourselves in the bush or in the old, dilapidated toilets, which was very risky.

Now we have a good and convenient place to relieve ourselves. The girls are also very happy because they have a shower that was built in their block. It is now easier and more interesting to use the toilet at the Compassion centre. This means that the cases of hygiene-related diseases will decrease if we apply the rules well. I have come to understand that most of the diseases we used to catch were caused by lack of hygiene. But now we don’t have to be sick like before, thanks to the new toilets.

Thank you for helping us. I pray that God will bless you in your work. The new toilets have offered my friends and me a safer place to ease ourselves. I pray that God will help you continue to support other people in need.

Kambou, a beneficiary at Compassion centre BF0958
Reporting person's photo

ReportThank you for your generosity

Your generous gift is establishing safety, dignity and healthy childhoods for 3,166 girls and boys living in poverty in eastern Burkina Faso. Thank you for partnering with 11 dedicated church partners to build child-friendly washroom facilities.

Not only do these children and youths now have reliable access to safe, clean washrooms, but they have the knowledge and experience to put their newly acquired hygiene habits into practice—and it’s making a huge difference in their lives! Your gift has empowered beneficiary children to take their health into their own hands by practising simple, daily habits that will prevent the painful illnesses they used to suffer from so frequently. Rather than worrying about sore tummies, children are free to focus on higher pursuits—like excelling in school, spending time with mentors and friends and learning valuable life skills.

Church partners are thrilled with the new facilities and can attest that their goal of improving the children’s health and sanitation has been fully achieved. Crumbling toilets that used to pose a major safety risk for little ones are now replaced with washrooms that kids want to use! Poor sanitation conditions used to prevent children from learning and implementing good hygiene—but now these growing boys and girls are actively and eagerly caring for their own growing bodies. The 11 Compassion centres rejoice as they witness the enhanced education that is now possible without the distraction of long lines to use a hazardous washroom or high absenteeism from sick children practising open defecation. Compassion tutors are spending less time monitoring bathroom queues and more time teaching and spending quality time with the kids.

Centre staff and volunteers are equipped to better serve the children, thanks to the new methods and hands-on training techniques developed by health professionals. The practical workshops have returned positive feedback as they have sparked behavioural change that leads to better quality of life. The plan is to organize regular refresher trainings to remind children and caregivers of helpful hygiene practices and educate on further health-related topics.

Your life-changing gift has had a profound impact on children’s holistic development in Burkina Faso. Church partners are delighted to report that the 11 new sanitation facilities have eradicated open defecation on church premises—contributing to a healthier and safer environment for each boy and girl who is striving to reach their full potential.