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ASO/MCC: Maternal/Child Health Project Assistant (FOSPDC) - Burkina Faso
1.00
Non-Paid
 
Kaya, around 60 miles NE of Ouagadougou
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southwest, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d’Ivoire to the southwest. Its size is 274,000 square kilometers(105,900 square miles) with an estimated population of more than 15 million people. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed on August 4, 1984. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are called Burkinabé. The capital is Ouagadougou, often called Ouaga for short.

The placement location, Kaya, is located about 100 km (60 miles) from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s largest city and capital, and where the MCC Burkina Faso office is located. Kaya is the fifth largest city in Burkina Faso, and is the capital of the Center-North region. The Mossi are the dominant ethnic group in this area, with two main religions: Islam (Muslims) and Christianity (Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians). Kaya is emerging as a hub of Burkinabè national culture. It is renowned for its handcrafted products, most notably the original leather goods that are part of major national and international exhibitions.

Burkina has limited number of high level medical services, but there are plenty of clinics and pharmacies. MCC staff usually go to a private clinic where good care is available for non-emergent needs. Malaria medication is required for workers during their term of service.

The diet in Burkina Faso consists mainly of Tô, a dish made of millet or white corn with sauce. Rice is also commonly eaten and it is easy to buy tasty street meat. Vegetables are usually eaten and cooked into sauce. Delicious fresh fruits and vegetables are seasonally available.

Burkina Faso is made up of two major types of countryside. The larger part of the country is covered by peneplain. The average altitude of Burkina Faso is 400 meters (1,312 feet) and the difference between the highest and lowest terrain is no greater than 600 meters (1,969 feet). Burkina Faso is therefore a relatively flat country.

Burkina has a primarily tropical climate with two very distinct seasons. In the rainy season the country receives between 600 and 900 millimeters (23.6 and 35.4 inches) of rainfall. In the dry season, the harmattan – a hot dry wind from the Sahara – blows. The rainy season lasts approximately four months May/June to September and is shorter in the north of the country. The hot season lasts from about March to May with the average daily high temperature above 38°C (above 100 F). The cooler season lasts from about July to September with the average daily high temperature around 32°C (around 90 F).

Burkina Faso has one of the lowest GDP per capita figures in the world: $1,200 and a very low literacy rate. Agriculture represents 32% of its gross domestic product and occupies 80% of the working population. It consists mostly of livestock but also, especially in the south and southwest of growing sorghum, pearl millet, maize (corn) peanuts, rice, and cotton. A large part of the economic activity of the country is funded by international aid.

Some challenges, or issues to be aware of, in this role:
• The climate as described above can be difficult, particularly during the hottest season. Loose cotton clothing is imperative, as is adapting expectations based on reduced energy levels. The air can be very dusty much of the year, a consideration for those with asthma, allergies and respiratory illnesses. Malaria and typhoid fever are common in Burkina Faso but with appropriate precautions can be avoided.
• Ouagadougou continues to be a relatively safe place where crimes against individuals are minimal. Local colleagues are very conscientious in offering safety advice.
• Living with a host family means privacy (in the North American sense) is considerably reduced. There are few places to “get away” in Burkina Faso and entertainment options are very limited. The MCC office staff are based in Ouagadougou and provide support through routine visits and meetings.
• Expect limited internet connectivity. The MCC office has internet and on occasion internet can be accessed here, but MCCers are encouraged to self-regulate their internet usage in order to prioritize relationship building with those they are serving and living alongside.
• Resources are limited, so workers are encouraged to think creatively and with flexibility in achieving the goals of their placement.
• Managing frustration when things don’t turn out as expected can be hard. While we do our best to determine and outline job responsibilities with our local partners, assignments really come alive based on the passions, skills, and the gifting of an individual. Responsibilities may change or be refined over time in communication with supervisors to meet the ongoing changes and needs within a local context. As such, the greatest characteristics a participant can bring to an assignment are adaptability, flexibility, patience, a willingness to get your hands dirty, and humility to complete even mundane tasks.
• Good local friends, close and trusting relationships with local partners, tolerance, and a willingness to laugh all help counter these challenges.
Jan 07, 2019
yes
3-12 months

All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active membership or participation in a Christian church; and nonviolent peacemaking. MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.

Please note the Anabaptist Service Opportunities Expectations: 
Living expenses (food, lodging, in-country transportation, etc.) are provided by MCC. The short term volunteer(s) would cover travel expenses to and from assignment, carry their own health insurance and provide a monthly contribution ($500 suggested donation). Applicants for this position must be legally eligible to be employed in the U.S. (Preference is for candidates age 55 and up.)

  1. Experience in a health-related field is an asset, preferably with maternal/child care.
  2. French proficiency is recommended (French language training is available for someone who is willing to learn).
  3. Flexibility, resourcefulness, and an interest in working in a rural, remote setting are required.
  4. Ability to work with people of different faith traditions.
  5. Ability to walk or ride bike to get around Kaya each day, and to take public transportation to visit the MCC office in the capital.
  6. Preference for candidates age 55 and up.
  7. Invitations to serve with MCC are contingent on the successful outcome of criminal background check(s)
The Maternal/Child Health Project Assistant will assist the staff of the Foundation of Solidarity for the Promotion of Community Development (FOSPDC), an MCC Burkina Faso partner since 2013, on health and nutrition projects. FOSPDC teaches health and sanitation topics to pregnant mothers, mothers of infants, and children up to five years old. This position is based in Kaya, which is located about 100 km (60 miles) from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s largest city and capital, and where the MCC Burkina Faso office is located.
The supervision, reporting, and accountability for this position would be shared between the FOSPDC and shared between the FOSPDC coordinator and the MCC Burkina Faso Connecting People’s Coordinator.
High levels of pollution; Limited dental care available; Limited mental health services available; Occasional evening and weekend work; Occasional long days; Limited internet connectivity; Limited dietary options; Use of public transit required; Local area not supportive to LGTBQ+ persons
1. Assist in FOSPDC project activities and participate in project meetings.
2. Work to integrate the various intervention components of the organization (health, nutrition, food safety, hygiene & sanitation).
3. Regularly attend a local church; model non-violent peacemaking in the workplace and community through respectful interactions with others.
4. Participate in MCC team life and responsibilities, such as team meetings, worker reports, and retreats;

Assignment Narrative:
The volunteer will serve alongside the Foundation of Solidarity for the Promotion of Community Development (FOSPDC), an MCC health and nutrition project that teaches health and sanitation topics to pregnant mothers and mothers of infants and children up to five years old. The participant will assist FOSPDC in carrying out the work of this project in Kaya, Burkina Faso, where the project is located.

Created in 2010, and an MCC partner since 2013, FOSPDC is a social, non-denominational, non-political, non-profit organization. Working in the areas of health, education, food security, environment and human rights, FOSPDC aims to contribute to the improvement of people's living conditions for sustainable community development. Three FOSPDC projects have been supported by MCC since then, and the current project, "Health and Nutrition Education Project in the Extended Community (PRESENCE)," began in April 2018.

See also FOSPDC's Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/FONDATIONSOLIDARITE/?rc=p&_rdc=1&_rdr
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