Opening its doors in 2003, the MIA-ALMA serves as a safe haven for sexually abused and ostracized women. All of the women who search for help at MIA/ALMA have survived deeply traumatizing events like arranged marriages, circumcision, prostitution, or have been ostracized by their families. Many are diagnosed HIV-positive or with AIDS, an illness that is still highly socially stigmatized in Burkina Faso.
MIA-ALMA is the only shelter for abused women in Ouagadougou, which offers survivors of sexual and violent abuse a sustainable way out of their situation. Working closely with the PPFilles Counselling Center the women receive individual and group counseling to understand and cope with their trauma. Accommodating up to 50 women and their children for two to three years, the women are being prepared for an independent life, by encouraging them to attend school and facilitating training in tailoring and housekeeping.
Another important component of the project is the psychological and physical support of the children. Supervised by trained nurses at MIA-ALMA, the children are raised in an energetic and playful setting, experiencing security and stability.
Even though, MIA-ALMA offers family counseling for the girls and their families to eventually reunite them. However, customs and tradition make this very difficult success is limited. However, to ease the women’s transition after 2 years ,MIA-ALMA provides each one with a bike and some money.
The MIA-ALMA shelter is lovingly managed by Souleymane Nana. As a social worker, he addresses all the women’s concerns and protects them vehemently against influences from their previous lives.
As well as selling their unique hand tailored creations at markets around Ouagadougou, one can also purchase them online. Have a look, by supporting their craft, you are contributing to the independence and new life of the MIA-ALMA women.