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In Fara, a town near Satonévri, more than 300 AIDS orphans are being supported, both concerning their basic needs of food and clothing, as well as their education in school.
The expression AIDS orphans is used when both parents have died young and the immune deficiency AIDS is supposed to have been the cause of death.AIDS is a subject off-limits in Burkina Faso. If the children were examined and proved to be HIV positive, immediately they would have to leave their relatives taking care of them and would be exposed to certain death, if they were not able to survive by begging and prostitution.
But also in their relatives' families, taking care of them after their parents' death, they are only scarcely fed and clothed and are living in bad sanitary conditions.In the social hierarchy theirs is the worst rank.

Life in Satonévri

Satonévri is a small village in the southern part of Burkina Faso. The 3000 inhabitants, among them about 1000 children, are living almost exclusively from farming.The fertile farmland in the region of the (wet) savannah makes it possible for the inhabitants to meet their basic needs of millets, corn and beans.

Satonévri has been a twin city of Viernheim since 1994. The twin city organization FOCUS e.V. has been trying to improve the situation of the people there for more than ten years.

Satonévri is about 140 km from the capital Ouagadougou (pronounced Vugudewgew). On the way to Satonévri the roads, littered with potholes, quickly change into
sandy earth roads, then into dirt tracks, which makes it hard even for off-road vehicles to drive on.

Three ethnic groups are living in Satonévri, the Gurunsi ( roughly translated into the wild ones), the Mossi, the largest group in Burkina Faso, and the largest nomadic tribe in the world, the Peulh ( roughly translated the rascals). Since the official language French is only spoken by some parts of the inhabitants, communication between the different ethnic groups is often possible by sign language only.

News from Satonévri

Satonévri, the twin city of Viernheim in Burkina Faso, is a small African village, just as you'd imagine Africa to be. Water from a fountain, no electricity, occasionally a mobile phone service. A newly installed telephone post near-by is supposed to render landline services possible. Once a month the teachers go to Koudougou to get their wages. This is the day when there is a busy exchange of news per e-mail between Viernheim and Africa. The students in the capital Ouagadougou and some students of secondary schools have access to the internet. The following information was exchanged von XXXX until XXXX 2009.


Satonévri, a small village, has been one of the official twin cities of Viernheim since 1994. It is situated about 150 km to the south-west from the capital Ouagadougou in the prefecture Sissily. Satonévri is an association of municipalities, consisting of the districts of Sadouin, Tonon and Névri. The villages have about 4000 inhabitants. The FOCUS organization is to boost the cultural exchange between people from Africa and Europe. Various projects are to improve the conditions of life in Santonévri and its surrounding area effectively.All activities are subject to the assumption of mutual respect and the wish to learn from each other, as equal partners do in any cooperation.

In July 2004 the ACSA organization of the Italian community Rovigo also signed a twinning agreement,aiming to promote the development of the people in Africa even more effectively with three partners involved.

If you like to learn more about life in Satonévri, click here

The FOCUS e.V. organization conducts regular journeys to Satonévri, both project - and meeting oriented ones. If you like to read the reports of participants, click here.


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