Photo by Africare-Burkina Faso
The Chance to Go Back to School
Quote: “Africare is like family to me. Thanks to Africare I continued my studies. I owe them my success in my studies. Later I can get a job that will allow me to totally take care of my mother and my younger brothers and sisters.”
Country: Burkina Faso
Damas Ouedraogo was only 14 years old when he lost his father, but as the oldest of five children, he had no time to grieve. He, his mother, and five siblings returned to Burkina Faso from Cote d’Ivoire. Damas assumed the role of head of household and the responsibility of taking care of the family. School was not an option. The only activity that could allow Damas to feed his family was to farm the land, to cultivate enough food to feed seven people.
During a campaign of voluntary HIV/AIDS testing that was taking place in his village, Damas’ mother learned that she was HIV positive. As shocking as this news was to the family, it had one silver lining: Damas and his family were eligible to benefit from Africare’s food distribution program to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The food distribution not only helped to nourish them all, but it permitted Damas to return to school and continue his education.
Damas continued his studies and went on to obtain a middle school certificate. Currently, with Africare’s assistance and the help of Social Services, Damas is enrolled in secondary school at the Lycée Provinciale in Gourcy, where he is earning high marks. “Africare is like family to me. Thanks to Africare I continued my studies. I owe them my success in my studies. Later I can get a job that will allow me to totally take care of my mother and my younger brothers and sisters.”