logo LeFermoir


each person is equal

Pan Bila treats each person with equality, regardless of their beliefs or ethnic background. Pan Bila was established on an Evangelical Christian foundation.

A Burkinabe saying goes I'll help you to wash your back, but you'll have to wash your own face."
This is also Pan Bila's perspective. We help with things out of the target group's control, but they have to take up their own responsibilities and make the necessary effort to become independent of our aid.


In 1991, Noel and Manja Soetaert worked as relief and development workers as the center managers for SIL, a linguistic and literacy center. In their daily routines, they were confronted with the needs of the street children. As a result, they started up a center for street kids on a rental property. This initially small program has progressively grown, and continually adjusted to meet the most urgent needs of the children of Ouagadougou. As the project outgrew the location, they moved to a purchased plot where there was room to grow.

Despite all the changes over the past years, the one constant is the vision and desire to help and protect children at risk, regardless of their ethnic background or religious beliefs. We believe each child has the right to education, food and having their basic needs met.

Though all children are equal, Pan Bila focuses on girls. This is mainly because the culture puts them at a greater disadvantage, meaning they will have less chances in life without our help.

Pan Bila does not take on the parentÕs responsibilities, but helps where needed.

The saying, “I’ll help you wash your back, but you’ll have to wash your own face” describes this.
It means that we will help with whatÕs too difficult, but they have to make the necessary effort and take up their own responsibilities in the process of becoming financially independent.