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Peace Corps Volunteers Empower Youth in Burkina Faso to Lead on Food Security and Environmental Stewardship

This summer, Peace Corps Volunteers in Burkina Faso organized a camp to increase Burkinabe involvement in their communities to combat food insecurity. Gathering together 62 “campers” ages 10-14 years old from 14 different communities across the Sourou Valley, Volunteers provided participants with new tools, information and opportunities to design their own community-based food security projects.

Over the course of four days, campers participated in learning sessions with Burkinabe professionals including nurses, teachers, agriculture and environmental experts, entrepreneurs, and heads of local associations, who addressed the many components of hunger and food insecurity. Campers also reinforced or learned new skills in areas like environmental understanding, basic accounting and money management, gardening, composting, nutrition, tree planting, and other issues.

Throughout the camp, Volunteers emphasized the importance of future planning and leveraging local resources to accomplish community food security goals. They encouraged campers to be proactive in their own communities by bringing the lessons and strategies they were learning back to their own families and schools.

To help assess the camp’s effectiveness, Volunteers administered a pre-test and a post-test that measured campers’ understanding of a range of health and food security concepts. Over five times as many campers received a score of 80 percent or higher on their post-test than on their pre-test, and they showed an impressive 99 percent improvement in the environment, nutrition and health sub-sections of the test. As a result of the camp, 94 percent of campers were able to identify four dangers to the environment compared to 68 percent on the pre-test. 

On the final day of camp, participants designed action plans to implement new food security and environmental improvement projects in their communities.

Did you know? The Peace Corps has committed to identify and train more than 1,000 Feed the Future Peace Corps Volunteers over four years, and about 1,000 current Volunteers already work on agriculture and environment programs that support the initiative’s food security and nutrition goals. 

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