Charles Tankoano, from Burkina Faso, will speak about the successes and challenges of community development in rural eastern Burkina Faso in the Vernon Regional Library’s community room on Tuesday, March 13. (Photo submitted)

Library hosts African executive director

Charles Tankoano from Burkina Faso to speak in Vernon on community development

You’re invited to listen and to meet Charles Tankoano, from Burkina Faso, in the Community Room at the Vernon Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, and learn about the successes and challenges of community development in rural Eastern Burkina Faso.

A short presentation in French and English will be followed by a question and answer period.

Tankoano is the executive director of the small Burkina Faso NGO, Association d’Appui à la Promotion du Développement durable des Communautés (APDC). The organization works with small villages in the Fado district of Eastern Burkina Faso. They have experienced great success by using the empowerment of women as a starting point for community development.

Their current project encourages prevention and treatment of childhood diseases, family planning, improved family food security and increased consumption of nutritious foods by children as well as increased participation of women in leadership roles in community organizations.

A total of 18 villages, which include 2,000 women, 1,000 men and 4,800 children, will be direct beneficiaries, with an additional 7,000 women and 7,000 men considered as indirect beneficiaries.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa, north of Ghana. Called “Upper Volta” in colonial times, the country lies in the Savanna and Sahel zones, the wide band of semi-arid grasslands with scattered trees that separates the Sahara from the forested areas to the south.

Currently, funding for the activities is being provided, in large part, by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as part of the Canadian government’s initiatives for improved Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in developing countries.

These initiatives will contribute to the reduction of mortality and morbidity, especially in mothers and infants, and to improving nutrition and development of young children. The current funding grant from GAC covers the period March 2016 to the end of March 2020.

Other funding, and the coordination of the GAC funding, along with oversight for the projects is done by World Neighbours Canada (WNC), an Okanagan-based NGO. WNC was founded in Oliver 24 years ago, and oversees programs in Burkina Faso, Honduras and Nepal.

WNC’s mandate is to help people analyze and solve their own problems; encourage and train leaders and organizations local to the project areas; ensure programs are all rooted in the tradition of “neighbour helping neighbour;” and have no paid staff. WNC sends 100% of donations to the field programs. The minimal administrative costs are covered by directors and GAC.

For more information contact Gabriel Newman at 250-260-8757 or

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