BARKA Foundation

The BARKA Foundation's mission is to serve as a catalyst for achieving the SDGs in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Our methodology is community-led, grassroots and combines indigenous and modern technologies to develop a set of best practices in areas of clean water accessibility, sanitation, irrigation, sustainable agriculture, women's empowerment, education, healthcare, and renewable energy. BARKA's work is ultimately about co-creating a culture of peace.
Jun 19, 2013

Heading Back to Burkina

Women of Tantiaka carrying water
Women of Tantiaka carrying water

Dear BARKA Foundation Supporters, 

My name is Alleigh VandeMerkt and I am a new intern for the BARKA Foundation this summer. I am a sophomore, business major at Endicott College and have been working to bolster BARKA's social media. Recently, BARKA has been preparing for its annual strategic retreat which will take place in Maine during the last weekend in June. Just hours after the retreat, Ina and Esu will leave for Burkina to lay the groundwork for several projects on the ground in Burkina Faso. 

  BARKA will continue its hygiene education program in the village of Tantiaka and will meet with the village of Lampiadi to prepare for the water and hygiene project there later this year. Rotary International recently granted BARKA and the Marblehead Rotary Club $36,000 which will cover the cost of drilling the new well and hygiene program for the village.  We are thrilled to receive the single largest grant in our organization's history, however it covers only project costs.  There are still many expenses that go into implementing such a project which we need to raise.  We appreciate your continued support to help make that possible!

In other news, BARKA is creating new ways to connect with our community. For the past few weeks, I have worked closely with Ina & Esu, BARKA's co-founders, to be able to share latest news and new photos regularly on Facebook and Twitter. We also now have a presence on Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. I encourage you to check out the many new photos that have been uploaded including: pictures of the BARKA Headquarters in Unorganized Territory, Maine, pictures from the village of Tantiaka, and photos from the Peace, Water, and Wisdom run that was organized by John Bapst High School and more. Please connect with us on any of these websites. We would love to hear from you.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the work being done in Burkina this summer through our social networks and newsletters. As always, we are incredibly grateful to be on this wonderful journey together.


Alleigh VandeMerkt and the BARKA Staffin US and Burkina Faso


The well drilled in 2012
The well drilled in 2012


Apr 3, 2013

Happy Spring from BARKA Foundation

BARKA Staff in Burkina
BARKA Staff in Burkina

Dear BARKA Foundation Supporters,

For the past several months the BARKA staff has been hard at work planning the details of Phase Two of the project you've already donated to here on Global Giving.  BARKA's new Country Coordinator, Pauline Ducreux (see photo below), is forming partner relations on the ground in Burkina Faso and helping us to detail the expenses for the project's forthcoming activities which include:

  • Installation of an irrigation system for a village market garden to bloster food security and grow surplus crops to sell at market (the system will connect to the new well we drilled last year)
  • Women's empowerment through small sustainable businesses (village women are currently forming an association to manage and operate a "multi-function platform" which has a wide range of time-saving technologies including milling grains, polishing rice, crushing shea nuts, welding, and more)
  • Generation of electricity through solar power to charge batteries and cell phones which are becoming more prevalent even in the bush of rural Africa
  • An evening literacy program made possible by solar-powered lights (it is estimated that 1 in 1000 people in rural Burkina can read; Burkina is the most illiterate nation in the world)

BARKA's two award-winning country-based partners include Association Chant de Femmes (The Association of the Song of the Women, which works with over 250 villages in eastern Burkina) and Tin Tua (which runs literacy programs in local languages and distributes the Multi-Function Platforms).

We anticipate returning to Burkina later this year to begin implementation on this next phase of the project.  We are estimating its impact to reach beyond Tantiaka and positively benefit at least 2500 people. 

We look forward to keeping you abreast of the latest developments and give thanks to you for your continued support of this important work.  We can't do it without you!  Together, we are changing the world.


Ina & Esu and the BARKA staff

Women's Meeting @ Tantiaka
Pauline Ducreux with the local king of 44 Villages
Pauline Ducreux with the local king of 44 Villages
Dec 31, 2012

Clean Water & Latrines- Done. Food Security- Needs Your Support

Dear BARKA Supporter,

We wanted to reach out to you to share some wonderful news: BARKA has received two major gifts totaling $5000.  We'd like to specifically acknowledge an anonymus donor and The Frederika and Wardner Gilroy Foundation and its Trustees Glen and Lesley Niemy for their generous contributions and unyielding faith in the work of The BARKA Foundation.

We're excited by these extraordinary acts of generosity. With your help to match these funds, we will be able to return to Burkina Faso to drill a 2nd well and begin Phase 2 of the Project in Tantiaka.  Now that the village has clean water and improved sanitation, the next step is to bolster food security through irrigation, and to empower women through time-saving technologies.
We thank you for your generous support to date which has made our accomplishments in 2012 possible.  Now, as we look forward to goals and objectives in 2013, we ask you to consider helping us to match $5000 to continue what we've begun.  Together we can help the village of Tantiaka become more resilient in the face of a worsening food crisis.  Together we can change the world.
Sending you joy and blessing for a happy and healthy new year!

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