We wish to bring many good things to life.
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We work with strong local leaders to ensure a high level of efficiency
Since Espoir Jeunes’ beginning in 2007, the association has always strived to apply the fundamental principles of co-development by working in tight collaboration with strong local leaders in Gaoua, Burkina Faso. We work through a system of local representatives supported by constant correspondence and regular travel of Espoir Jeunes’ Swiss leadership to Burkina Faso. Our current local representative in Gaoua is Rev Jonas Kambou.
In 2002, the pasteur Jonas Kambou came to Switzerland for his theology studies. Being an outstanding student in his home country (Burkina Faso), he won an excellence scholarship to spend the last 4 years of his studies in Romandie — the French speaking part of Switzerland. During his time in Switzerland, Jonas learned the Swiss work rigour and became aware opportunities to develop his hometown through education. It is in this context that Jonas learned about Espoir Jeunes and joined the association as Gaoua’s local representative.
Education for all: a big challenge for Gaoua’s youth
The key challenge as seen by Jonas and Espoir Jeunes is education. As Gaoua and its surroundings have abundant gold reserves, many children that do not have the means to pay for their education start working in traditional gold mines as “orpailleurs”. Although this activity does provide them with some money initially, the activity is dangerous, short-lived, and often bars the children from an education, leaving them destitute in their adult life.
As such, Espoir Jeunes’ first objective is to tackle this problem by providing disadvantaged children with housing, food and education to give them a solid foundation for their future.
Financial sustainability is important for Espoir Jeune’s long-term success
Espoir Jeunes is a firm believer that financial sustainability is crucial to the long-term success of charities. Thus, Espoir Jeune has structured multiple initiatives to ensure that the project is able to self-sustain financially. To meet this objective, Espoir Jeunes has implemented local agricultural projects that provide a steady source of revenue for the association (for more, see “our projects”).
Innovative management models are crucial to ensure Espoir Jeunes can withstand unexpected challenges
Espoir Jeunes is a also a firm believer that non-traditional charity management models are necessary to ensure long-term success. Far too many charities rely on the goodwill and competence of one individual for their success. Although it is the “traditional” and easy approach to managing projects, success is often short-lived. Multiple challenges can happen when organisations “put all their eggs in one basket”.
To avoid these challenges, Espoir Jeunes has implemented an innovative management model that distributes the roles and responsibilities among the project’s stakeholders to ensure the organisation is set for long-term success.
The main people involved in the management of on-the-ground activities in Burkina Faso include Jonas Kabou as the main coordinator in Gaoua, Martin Da as the student representative, Allassanne Kambou as the employees representative, and Espoir Jeune’s 5 university student alumni that act as co-coordinators for the overall project (Isaac, Michel, Francis, Albert, and Zachée).