BIBIR means “children” in the Dagaara language of West Africa, because childcare is our first priority, and we also work with a larger vulnerable group in Africa: women.
We’ve been working in northern Burkina Faso since 2003, developing multiple development projects, to become the most important and most experienced in this area. The country’s own government acknowledged the importance and scope of work performed by BIBIR, and named the organization as “Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite Burkinabé (Merit of Knight of Order Burkinabe).” This is one of the greatest public recognitions in the country.
Emma Jiménez and Rafael Puertas, a Spanish couple, conceived the idea of BIBIR, following the birth of their second daughter Arlet in 2003. Aware of their privilege to give their children everything they needed to be healthy and happy, Emma and Rafael were equally aware of the inequalities like hunger and poverty that millions of children experience all over the world. Especially in the “hunger belt” across Africa, from the west coast in the Sahara to Ethiopia and Somalia. Emma and Rafael decided to do everything possible to help. In 2004, Rafael traveled to the Yatenga region in Burkina Faso to evaluate the status of children in the area and promote the BIBIR project.
Only a year later, in 2005, the project started by Emma and Rafael became a reality. Through their efforts, the project established a CREN — a Center for Nutrition Recovery and Education, where hundreds of children have since been saved from certain death. Additionally, the project founded an orphanage that works to connect children to extended family. BIBIR also started programs for education, health, culture, agriculture, jobs, and projects specifically aimed to promote and protect women’s rights.