Be the change you want to see
Become a part of our worldwide network and join our founder Katrin Rohde in her mission to help children, women and people with disabilities in Burkina Faso have a better life now and in the future.
In 1987 our Founder Katrin Rohde, first came into contact with a Burkinabé group in her home town Plön in northern Germany. Through this group she made her first trip to Burkina Faso. Traveling across the country on her own, she became seriously ill. A customs officer took her into his family and they nursed her back to health. To express her thanks she promised to collect money in Germany to build a school. Having collected the money, she traveled to Burkina Faso a second time to organize and supervise the building of the school. She was fascinated by the the country and its people, at the same time shocked by the prevailing poverty, whose victims are mainly children and young people. Encouraged by the success of the school building project, she returned to Germany and continued raising money for future projects in Burkina Faso.
In 1995 she sold her property and bookshop in Germany to provide capital to set up her own project. She wanted to set up a home for street children in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. Upon arrival there she rented a small house. She drove around town in the Ford Transit she had brought from Germany, looking for where street kids were likely to hang out, to get to know them and build up trust. She provided them with medicine and one hot meal per week. Gradually she tried to find homes for some of the young people in families in exchange for financial support. Unfortunately these arrangements turned out hardly satisfactory for either party, due to frequent conflicts with the families. Eventually prompting Katrin to take the kids in herself. Ultimately there were 18 children and young people living together in 3 rooms - for two years.
Katrin tried to obtain permission from the government ministries to build a real orphanage and in Germany an application was filed to register this project as a registered charity and to obtain a grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation. The building was completed early 1996 and Katrin Rohde was able to move in with „her“ children. The home was officially opened on 29th March 1996. In addition to the 29 children and young people resident there, the orphanage also fostered 12 jobs for local residents.
The boys’ orphanage was only the first in a long series of successful projects.
Learn more about ongoing AMPO projects in our Newsletter.