Opened in 2003, MIA was the first home for abandoned girls. The second home, ALMA, was added in 2008. In 2015 the opportunity arose for the two homes to move together to common premises with their own vegetable garden. MIA-ALMA offers refuge to girls from very difficult backgrounds. Many have fled from forced marriages or the threat of female genital mutilation, some were prostitutes, some suffered unwanted pregnancies and were subsequently rejected by their families. Many of them are marginalized because they are infected with HIV-AIDS.
MIA-ALMA is the only shelter for abused women in Ouagadougou offering victims of violence and sexual abuse a sustainable way out of their situation. Working closely with the P.P.Filles Counselling Centre, MIA-ALMA offers individual and group counselling to help the women understand and cope with their trauma. Accommodating up to 50 women and their children for two to three years, the project prepares for a life of independence by providing them with education and training.
Another important component of the project is the psychological and practical support for the children. Supervised by trained nurses at MIA-ALMA, the children are raised in a secure and stable environment where they learn by playing.
Although MIA-ALMA offers family counselling for the girls and their families to encourage reconciliation, customs and tradition often make this process very difficult.
The MIA-ALMA shelter is in the caring hands of Souleymane Nana, the Director. Being a qualified social worker he addresses the women’s concerns and protects them fiercely against any interference from their previous lives.