Father Balemans, a priest from The Netherlands has made Burkina Faso his home. He has devoted his life to spreading the message of sustainable development and more specifically to the struggle against desertification. Having founded the "Association pour le Development de la Region de Kaya", he has taught rural communities to care for and nurture their environment. From natural resource management to sound agricultural practices and rational breeding methods, scores of villagers have benefited from Father Balemans' guidance and have subsequently learned "to help themselves". Twenty-five villages have successfully implemented Father Balemans' scheme, which was recognized as a model of its kind by a Government Decree in September 1994.