Herman’s birthday present to his African friends

It is a bit early to speculate if Herman Berge will make a career within sustainable development. But if so, his future CV will tell that he started at the age of four.


Well, Herman happens to be the son of Yennenga Progress' founder Stina. He has always accompanied her when visiting Burkina Faso, so all his life he has had two preschools, one in Sweden and the one at the Yennenga Centre in Nakamtenga, two homes and friends everywhere. A year ago, when about to celebrate his fourth birthday in the village, he stated: “I would like a playground at my preschool in Burkina Faso as a birthday present”.

– Then came the pandemic so the idea had to be postponed. But later, we organised a separate fundraising among friends and via Yennenga’s Facebook, says Stina Berge. And with this money transferred, local craftsmen got to work.

A few weeks ago, Stina and Herman were back in the village, Nakamtenga. And on his fifth birthday, he was honoured the task to proudly cut a ribbon to inaugurate a small playing field. Back home in Stockholm, he happily describes the success with a beautiful “rutschelkana” (slide) and a finely welded jungle gym*.

– It was a lovely ceremony. After cutting the ribbon, the kids swarmed all over the place and played and finally gathered to munch a big cake, tells Stina. Herman simply loves his village life and friends and maybe he could set an example of what one can achieve with one’s birthday!

How do you want to celebrate your next birthday?

* In Swedish “klätterställning”