NRC has through the years provided different types of education programs. In 2013-2015 NRC ran an education project in the Mentao refugee camp comprising a catch-up programme for children of school going age who have been forced to drop  out of school. NRC also had  a YEP program (combining literacy educational and learning crafts) for youths between the ages of 15 to 24 who can no longer make in into the normal school system. 163 pupils completed the catch-up programme while 105 youths completed the YEP programme   

Now NRC is providing education for smaller children in the Goudebo camp; Ecole Primaire de Goudebo has between 800 and 900 pupils aged from 6 to 12 years, divided in six grades. The number of pupils differs with families trying to return to their origin. Return programme is organised by UNHCR.

Most of the pupils are refugees, but the school also has some pupils from the host community.

There are 6 grades at the school. In the first two years (CP 1 and CP 2), there are two teachers in each class. Because the school language is French, and many of the refugee children do only speak local Tuareg dialects, they need help for translation to be able to follow the education.

NRC target that 50% of all pupils should be girls is met in the vast majority of the classrooms. The age of the children in each class differs. Most of the children arriving in the camp have never gone to school before, so they have to start in the basic class regardless of their age. 

Most of the pupils have books to write in, but in a few classes the pupils still uses small wooden boards and chalk. Photo: NRC/Ingrid Prestetun
Read caption NRC provides education for children in the Goudebo camp. Most of the children arriving in the camp have never gone to school before, so they have to start in the lowest class regardless of their age. Photo: NRC/Ingrid Prestetun

NRC in Burkina Faso

Tens of thousands of Malians are displaced in Burkina Faso, fleeing the terror in Mali.

Burkina Faso

Total # of refugees from the country:
Total # of refugees to the country:
Total # of internally displaced:
New refugees from the country in 2016:
New refugees to the country in 2016:
New internally displaced in 2016:
Source: UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The figures are from the beginning of 2017.


In 2016 NRC reached


Individuals, with education, food security, shelter and ICLA in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Humanitarian and political background

In 2012, Mali sustained a series of crises that culminated in the takeover of northern regions by extreme Islamist groups. These groups committed gross human rights violations against the population.

Over half a million people fled their homes, with 150,000 Malians – mainly of Tuareg and Arab origins – taking refuge in neighbouring countries. At the peak of the crisis, 100,000 Malians sought sanctuary in Burkina Faso. Today, around 30,000 Malians remain uprooted.

NRC began operations in Burkina Faso in 2012.

Precarious stability, yet underfunding

Since the first outbreak of violence in 2012, Mali has been in a state of volatile stability. Temporary peace agreements dissolve into threats of armed clashes and terrorist attacks. As a result, those who fled remain in exile, unable to return.

International funding for the crisis has fallen sharply, and media interest wanes. At a time when needs are rising for Malian refugees, many agencies are struggling to provide the assistance they require.

People we helped in Burkina Faso and Mali in 2015

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme

NRC in Burkina Faso

Through our Burkina Faso programme, we give emergency support to Malian refugees and work to ensure that children don't lose out on their education.

Although funding allocated to Burkina Faso remains limited, we provide assistance to people affected by the Malian conflict.

NRC has offices in Dori and Djibo providing assistance to refugees in the Mentao and Goudebou refugee camps.

In Burkina Faso, we deliver a combination of emergency assistance and recovery projects. We respond to the immediate needs of refugee households, while supporting their ability to recover from shock. We collaborate with our operation in Mali so that our activities will help Malian refugees when they return home.


As a leader of education in emergencies, we believe that no child should sacrifice his or her education in times of crisis.

In Burkina Faso, our education experts:

  • Work to create formal and informal schooling opportunities for Malian refugee children and youth.
  • Train teachers in refugee camp schools and those teaching in the formal education system.
  • Repair damaged school buildings.
  • Provide school kits, including notebooks and pencils.
  • Provide vocational training and life skills to youth.


The harsh climatic conditions of the Sahel desert make life difficult for Malian refugees – scorching sun during the day, and frigid temperatures at night.

I am very, very happy. Look around, here is much more space. There is even enough space for the little ones to play inside, and I have room for visitors.

Fatima Welet Hamat (40) received cost-effective and environmentally friendly shelter building materials from NRC in Burkina Faso (2012).

Our shelter experts:

  • Provide materials for transitional shelters to families in refugee camps.
  • Distribute rope, machetes, mats, plastic sheeting and eucalyptus poles for refugees to build shelters.
  • Design more durable shelters, based on traditional nomad designs and using carefully chosen materials to spare the environment and keep construction costs low.
  • Prioritise support to women, who traditionally lead the way in constructing family shelters.
  • Build health clinics and manage water trucking into camps.

About nrc in Burkina Faso

Budget 2016
80 mill NOK
International staff
Dori and Djibo
Budget 2015
50 mill NOK
National staff


Country Director

Mickael Amar


+24 38 148 703 71