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ÖJAB and development cooperation

On the following pages you find a selection of completed ÖJAB development cooperation projects from the recent past.

Den Kanu

 "Den Kanu" means "love for the children" in the Dioula language. The orphanage "Den Kanu" is located in Bobo-Dioulasso (the second largest city of Burkina Faso). Approximately 36 children live in the orphanage and are cared for there on an ongoing basis.

In order to ensure the orphanage's power supply with clean energy, ÖJAB enabled the construction of a photovoltaic system in 2017. Burkina Faso has a very high solar radiation and this almost all year round. A photovoltaic (PV) system therefore represents the safest and most long-term solution for basic energy supply.

Specifically, the PV system in the orphanage serves as the main source of power for lamps and ventilators in the children's rooms and for the care staff, several refrigerators and freezers, and various appliances in the administration office.

In 2021 a project team of ÖJAB, together with the initiator of the project, Mr. DI Salia Konaté visited the orphanage in Bobo-Dioulasso. Even 4 years after construction, the PV system continued to function perfectly. Through the freezers, cooled water can be sold to businesses in the surrounding area, allowing the orphanage to cover part of its running expenses for childcare - a successful example of sustainable development cooperation.

The project was made possible with the kind support of the Cooperation Office of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Ouagadougou. 

CORONA emergency aid in Burkina Faso

Measured by its population, Burkina Faso is disproportionately affected by the spread of the new corona virus in West Africa. The actual case numbers are likely to be many times higher than the official figures.

ÖJAB has been associated with Burkina Faso within the framework of development cooperation for many years. It was therefore particularly important to us to contribute to the containment of the spread of the virus in Burkina Faso.

Especially in densely populated areas in the capital Ouagadougou, especially in the so-called "non-loties", the risk of the corona virus spreading is high. The improvement of basic hygienic conditions is extremely important to prevent the virus from spreading.

In a first support action by ÖJAB, in 2020 3,000 soaps and protective masks were therefore distributed to families affected by poverty in suburban neighbourhoods of Ouagadougou. The families were also informed about the most important corona rules by our voluntary supporters:

  • I wash my hands regularly.
  • I bow without shaking hands.
  • I keep a distance of 1.50 m to other people.
  • I stay at home as often as possible.
  • I avoid meetings, gatherings and ceremonies of any kind.
  • I cough or sneeze in my elbows or in a disposable tissue.
  • I wear a mask at the market and other unavoidable meeting places, but always keep my distance.

The soaps were bought locally in Burkina Faso and are a natural product. They were made from the fruit of the karité tree and produced by small entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso. In this way, not only was the hygiene of the population improved, but local small businesses are supported.


Vocational training for girls in Burkina Faso

Education is the most powerful tool to prevent the marginalisation and oppression of women. With the project "One girl - one profession", ÖJAB, together with the Bon Samaritain school, has set itself the task of counteracting this risk. The partners founded a centre for vocational training for girls (CFFP - Centre Féminin de Formation Professionnelle) where young women from difficult backgrounds have been learning the tailoring profession since 2010.

With the project "One Girl - One Profession", which is funded by the municipality of Vienna and runs for three years (2014 - 2017), the target group was extended to rural areas, where it is even more difficult than in the capital Ouagadougou to gain a foothold in educational measures or on the labour market.

In the course, 20 girls are trained as tailors, but are also taught basic questions of hygiene, health and family planning. They learn basic skills (arithmetic, writing, French, etc.), which they had partly lacked due to their lack of previous education. After completing the course, the young women are equipped with mechanical sewing machines by ÖJAB and are in contact with the school through a graduate association.


In order to be particularly committed to the target group of women, who often find it harder than their male colleagues to gain a foothold in the labour market, ÖJAB initiated a project entitled "Girls in Ouagadougou - Education Qualified".

The project was carried out together with the ÖJAB project partner, the Bon Samaritain primary school, in the period from 2010 to 2013. A Centre for Vocational Training for Girls (CFFP - Centre Féminin de Formation Professionnelle) was established on the school campus. In the three-year pilot course, 20 girls were trained as tailors, but were also taught basic questions of hygiene, health and family planning and learned basic skills (arithmetic, writing, French, etc.), which they had partly lacked due to their lack of previous education.

Since the pilot project had become well established and the corresponding infrastructure had been created on the school campus, subsequent years could be taken up for training as tailors.


Training of kindergarten teachers

ÖJAB carried out educational projects in Western Sahara from 1992 to 2009, most recently in the kindergarten sector:

The aim of the project was to support the Saharawi people in establishing a kindergarten education and practice.

The project included several training courses (apprenticeships), each of which was divided into three phases:

Phase 1 - Basic training: comprises a three-month German course followed by nine months of training at various educational institutions for kindergarten teachers in Austria

Phase 2 - Practice and application of the knowledge in refugee camps: a period of 18 months is calculated for this purpose, so that the graduates can gain sufficient experience with groups of children

Phase 3 - Follow-up training, pedagogical internship or specialisation (approx. 3 months): Those graduates (maximum 4 per course) who show commitment and motivation in their work are given the opportunity to further their education in a special field in Austria.

After completion of the 5th training course (39 kindergarten teachers), the focus was on the idea of anchoring essential training focal points such as kindergarten didactics and practice in the Sahrawi kindergarten. In order to achieve this, the training of trainers for kindergartens and the development of an adapted curriculum was carried out.

Three participants in the kindergarten teacher vocational training of the ÖJAB in Western Sahara.Three participants in the kindergarten teacher vocational training of the ÖJAB in Western Sahara.

Dr. Bruno Buchwieser-School

ÖJAB attaches great importance to sustainability in the implementation of development cooperation projects. Projects initiated by ÖJAB should sooner or later stand on their own feet.

The Dr. Bruno Buchwieser School is an ideal model of how development cooperation should work:

In 1970, ÖJAB founded a technical and commercial college in Ouagadougou, the Centre d'Énseignement Technique et de Formation Professionnelle - Dr. Bruno Buchwieser, with a student number of 260. Even today, young people are trained at the school to become skilled workers.

In 1995, ÖJAB handed over this successful school to the state of Burkina Faso. Today, more than 1000 pupils attend the Burkinabe school centre for mechanical, electrical, electronic and construction engineering, which now bears the name "Lycée Professionnel Bruno Buchwieser".

Entry of the Doktor Bruno Buchwieser School in Ouagadougou.Entry of the Doktor Bruno Buchwieser School in Ouagadougou.