We wish to bring many good things to life.
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A Burkinabé student in Switzerland
In 2002, the pasteur Jonas Kambou — curent head of Espoir Jeunes Burkina Faso — 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 many things and met many people, including the members of the fondation Espoir Jeunes, a newly created association aiming to support the development of children throughout the world. Jonas was highly compelled by the noble objectives of this new association, and decided to suggest that they help children in his hometown Gaoua, Burkina Faso, as the regions has many opportunities for future growth, but lacked financial support to “kickstart” its launch. The fondation Espoir Jeunes was immediately highly compelled by Jonas’s suggestions and decided to start working with him to finance a small, grassroots project, aiming to help 4 children in Gaoua, that Jonas new were in financial distress. That is how it all started.
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 bares the children from an education, leaving them few opportunities to develop themselves in their adult life.
As such, Espoir Jeune’s first objective is to tackle this problem by provide disadvantaged children with housing, food and education to provide them with a solid foundation for their future.
Financial sustainability is important for Espoir Jeune’s long-term success
Espoir Jeune is a firm believer that financial sustainability is crucial to the long-term success of charities. In this scope, Espoir Jeune has put together multiple initiatives to ensure that the project is able to partially self-sustain itself from a financial perspective. To meet this objective, Espoir Jeune has implemented multiple local agricultural projects that provide a steady source of revenue for the foundation (for more, see our projects).
Innovative management models are crucial to ensure Espoir Jeunes can withstand unexpected challenges
Espoir Jeune 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 your 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).