The Preschool – Saponé, Burkina Faso



In Burkina Faso there are 67 different dialects, any of which the children will speak at home. Since the legal language spoken and taught in the school system is french, the children have an immediate setback. Therefore the HUFC preschool is an essential beginning to help them transcend poverty by learning how to understand the French language necessary to continue on in school.

Examples of the dialect:
Thank you ➞ Baraka Hello ➞ Yibero Good Bye ➞ Bilfou

UNICEF, together with the Ministry for Social Welfare and National Solidarity, is providing financial and technical support as well as pedagogical and play material for 90 such preschools around Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.  Extensive research has shown that access to early childhood development (ECD) services and early learning for young children will strongly influence their future physical and mental health and social development. Thus, ECD not only ensures a healthy start into a child’s life but also means an investment into the development of their society’s future.

The HUFC Preschool in Saponé: The preschool opened its first PK1 classroom October 1st 2012 with 36 children (16 girls and 20 boys) aged from 3 and 4 years old. 3 buildings were erected in less than 6 months: the classroom, the restrooms and the kitchen.

The first few weeks, the children were frightened. It took a lot of patience and care from the teachers to help them overcome their fear of being in an unknown environment with unknown adults, but the two wonderful teachers, Marie Ester and Valerie succeeded at their tasks.

The Teachers

Marie Ester teaches PK2 and has her teaching diploma. She was recruited in Ouagadougou where she was previously teaching in another preschool. The assistant teacher, Valerie, teaches PK1. Except for Marie Ester, all employees are hired within the area to contribute to the economy of the village.

Project Updates

  • School year 2015/2016:  The preschool now employs 3 teachers, 3 assistants, 1 cook and 1 security staff member. 100 children are enrolled in PK1, PK2 and kindergarten. All children are fed each day.
  • Spring/Summer 2014: The third classroom and the administrative building have been built and the preschool project is completed. 89 children are going to school and are fed each day.
  • School year 2013/2014: A new assistant is hired to help the 2 classrooms.
  • Spring/Summer 2013: Second classroom and the lunch area have been built.