Guinkouma school group in Burkina Faso
The Guinkouma* school started with the opening of the first primary class of 15 pupils in 1995 at the Tabtenga site in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Over the years, it has developed on 3 sites of different sizes and currently hosts more than 2,000 students, offering a complete basic education (nursery, primary, secondary, high school optional).
* Guinkouma means "solidarity" in Bissa, the mother tongue of Bruno Bambara, founder of the Guinkouma School Group
Origin of the project
For us this project started as a fairy tale whose language we borrow.
"Once upon a time in an undeveloped suburb of Ouagadougou, capital of the land of the upright men, there was a small primary school for the poor created with very few resources by a young Burkinabe teacher, Bruno Bambara, whose objectives and dynamism were inversely proportional to his finances. »
Starting with a single class, the Guinkouma Primary School in Tabtenga now has 6 primary levels with more than 300 students.
Due to a lack of money and land, this school could not lead to a secondary school that could have led students to a complete basic education, thus to a better future in a country where schools remain insufficient. And that saddened Bruno Bambara, who was trying in every way to get people interested in his noble project.
His tenacity was rewarded as he was invited to the International Children's Forum organized for the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Geneva in 1999, where he met a young Swiss man, Nicolas Crettenand. On his return from this event, to which he had been graciously invited with a student from his school, he met, on the plane, a Swiss lady, Nelly Fries, who was going to Burkina Faso to set up a school library.
With the support of these Swiss friends, a 6-hectare plot of land was acquired in 2000 in Saaba on the outskirts of Ouagadougou and a borehole was drilled in the spring of 2001. As a result, students are no longer thirsty during class and the surrounding population can have easier access to clean drinking water.
From a primary school to a school complex
As a follow-up to the Primary, a Secondary School (currently 15 classes) was built in Saaba according to climatic standards thanks to the financing of our Swiss Association. Following a cholera crisis, an infirmary was put into service in 2006 on the site, which increased from 6 to 15 hectares. This structure is intended not only for the school but also for the population of the surrounding area. The latest construction, also financed by our association, is a large 2-storey building that includes a large library and study room. The Saaba district having developed considerably, it was necessary to build primary classes (currently 6 classes) and open nursery classes.
The satellite images below show the evolution between 2003 and 2013. Today's image can be seen on Googlemap
In 2007, a third Guinkouma site, Wayalguin, was inaugurated with primary and nursery classes.
In 2014, a teacher training school was opened in Guinkouma by Bruno Bambara.
Between 2002 and 2008, youth and adult camps co-organized with the Swiss NGO Nouvelle Planète made it possible to raise awareness of the project through participants and raise the funds necessary for several constructions.
As you have understood, the goal we are pursuing is DEVELOPMENT THROUGH EDUCATION.
Currently, the Guinkouma School Group has about 2,300 students attending nursery, primary, secondary and general high school classes at the 3 sites.
What begun in one of the poorest districts of the capital, became a school complex that has acquired a solid reputation and achieved very high academic scores. It does not forget children from disadvantaged families and offers thousands of students the opportunity to receive quality education.
The Guinkouma School Group, which includes schools on the 3 sites, is led by the Founder and Director Bruno Bambara and his wife Françoise Bambara. Both are teachers and live their profession with passion.
More information can be found on the website of the Guinkouma School Group: http://guinkouma.net/
As an advisor from the beginning, the Swiss NGO Nouvelle Planète played an important role in the development of this project. Through its local branch in Ouagadougou, Nouvelle Planète has assumed an important follow-up on site of the construction of the infrastructures.