Andrew (André) is 14 years old. He lives in Bouassa and he comes from time to time to the church of the Protestant parish. He is one of those many children who look for help from Pastor Séraphin. André left school long ago and the only thing he remembers from his schooling is how to write his name. André has a disease which actually keeps him from going back to school.


Some think it is a form of sleeping sickness or African trypanosomiasis, a terrible disease that wreaks ​​ havoc across Africa. The patient’s condition is the permanent sleepiness without actually being able to sleep… Does André have this disease, we are not sure? What we do know is that André lives more or less on the street; he does not eat every day and practically never washes himself. His family is very poor. His father fell ill in 2006 and lost his job as a gardener and hasn’t been able to work since. He is “unemployed” as we say here in the west, with the one major difference that he doesn’t receive any assistance of any kind.His mom has drained her little savings to help treat her husband. But the activity of her small business is not enough; she had to sell the family plot. But things still have not improved.André and his family are like many of those families who have abandoned their children because they are too poor to feed them or take care of them.

When we talk with André about his dream today, if the disease does not slow him down too much, is to have a small shop on the edge of the road that leads to the capital city of Ouaga. He would sell a little bit of sugar, maybe some cans of tomato sauce, candy and also single cigarettes. With that, he has food and perhaps he can visit the clinic for some medication.

The story of André is far from an isolated case in Africa … and very common in Bouassa.Our dream is to create a dynamic that could reverse the downward spiraling effect of poverty, not just for one family, but an entire village. For the Protestant parish and its pastor and now for us, it is a challenge and also an obligation. And we know that the starting point to help André and his family, and all the others is to have access to water.



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