Football for child miners in Burkina Faso

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Football for child miners in Burkina Faso


by Interpol

Burkina Faso suddenly has a lot of gold. So more and more children – now more than 200,000 - are working in mines. Most mines and not regulated so the work is dangerous and often kills. The mines often collapse on the children.

But there is not much work in Burkina Faso. The world price of cotton went down a lot so there are thousands of people with no jobs now. Gold is now the biggest export in Burkina Faso top export – it earns $1.52 billion.

Ansonzu Hawma started mining four years ago when he was 13 years old. ‘I can fill up to four or five bags a day with rocks,’ he says ‘If there is any gold in the bags, we sell it; then I make some money.’

Ansonzu has never been to school and, like many children his age, the mines were his only choice in life. He sends all the money he earns to his family in the village near Dori, in the north of the country. They need his money to survive. ‘They have nothing,’ he explains. ‘No food to live.’

Groups in Burkina Faso are trying to get children away from this dangerous work, with football. All the child miners love football - Africa’s favourite sport.

Coaching for Hope is an organization that gives football-skills training and reading classes to the child miners. Ansonzu, in a dusty football shirt, is doing this.

This is not the same as being in school. But it gives the children something different from the mines and helps them come back to learning. UN statistics show that in developing countries, every year in school helps the children earn 10 per cent more money in future.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).