Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

The mission of FBF is to promote good will, cross-cultural understanding and friendship between the people of the United States and Burkina Faso; to support grass-roots development projects in Burkina Faso; and to enrich lives of the citizens in both countries. Its Projects Committee serves as a vehicle to facilitate the organization's support of development activities. The Committee evaluates proposals, selects projects, monitors activities, and informs members about project developments.
Jul 8, 2015

100% Success Again For Our Teachers!

Grades are in for primary school teacher trainees this school year in Burkina Faso.  All 17 primary school  teacher trainees (three of which were in their second year of training and have now graduated and 14 who have just completed their first year of training) supported by you, our GlobalGiving partners, have passed their year-end exams.  Such incredible and motivated young women!   For those who have graduated, the next step is to pass the civil service test to be admitted into government service and then to be assigned to rural primary schools where the need is greatest.  

The government of Burkina Faso works hard to offer a primary school education for all rural children.  Reaching this goal will take time. The young women whose teacher training we are supporting not only adds to the cadre of teachers available to these village primary schools.   It also encourages large villages with no primary school to build simple mud and thatch structures so that their children can qualify to have teachers. 

Considering the success of the young women in teacher training, who began their educations as students in village primary schools, your scholarship support is paying off in multiple ways: providing an opportunity for qualified young women to achieve training in a field they feel passionate about, enabling them to become teachers and leaders in their communities, and contributing to the expansion of primary school education in the villages of northern Burkina Faso.  

According to Association NEEED who has very effectively run girls’ education programs (from primary through secondary and more recently postsecondary) for the past 16 years for village girls in the region, the number of young women who qualify for postsecondary training is growing each year.  Last year, over 200 qualified village girls requested scholarships for postsecondary training because their parents, who are poor farmers with subsistent incomes, could not at all help pay for their training, including living away from home. 

Association NEEED is currently accepting applications for scholarships for the next school year and will soon need to determine the number of young qualified young women to whom they can offer scholarships in the coming school year.  With your help, we hope to be able to offer 20 scholarships this year.

Our sincere appreciation for your support for these young women.  It makes a huge difference: whether they will return to their villages to continue their family’s traditional farming or become teachers, role models and leaders for the next generation of rural children.

We welcome your questions, suggestions and ideas about this program.

Thank you!!

Apr 13, 2015

Bonus Day April 14: Your Donation Matched 50%

Good news: on #GivingTuesday 2014, we raised just shy of$19,000 which will fund 12 young women with 2-year scholarships next school year to train as primary school teachers.  And in that competition, our project placed 9th out of 513 projects participating!  Ninth place. $19,000!  So an immense thank you for mobilizing your resources and networks to make that happen. 

With the arrival of spring, we’ve just been alerted to another bonus day competition that this project can take part in as part of the Youth Spark campaign.  The big day is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14- and coincidentally a great day to think about putting some of those tax refunds to good use. 

At 9am EDT (6am PDT) tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14, $100,000 in matching funds will be released. Donations will be matched 50% up to $1,000 per donor, per project. As usual, bonus prizes will be awarded to the projects with the most unique number of donors.  So the more we spread the word and encourage other donors to give, the more our project stands to gain during the competition.   An important reminder: in GlobalGiving competitions, matching funds always go very, very fast.  Usually within the first 10 minutes!!!!! 

So we’re asking you to make a special donation tomorrow, Tuesday (4/14), and we’re asking you to set your alarms to do so at 9am EDT (6am PDT) sharp!

Why do we ask you time and time again to join us in this endeavor?  It’s easy.    Every young woman who has received one of our scholarships has successfully completed her training (or is currently successfully engaged in her training) and all graduates have gone on to secure a teaching job upon graduation.  Every single one! All of our graduates are now teaching in rural areas of Burkina, in the kinds of communities where-without the opportunities that donors like you have been providing them through the years-they might never have had a chance to go to school in the first place.

But they did, they did well, and now as teachers and as role models, they show other girls, their families and their communities what’s possible.  Now that’s high impact investing!

The other reason we are so excited about tomorrow’s bonus day opportunity is that as much as we’ve been able to raise so far, funding 20 teacher training scholarships in 2014, there were 158 eager and qualified young women who were turned away from this opportunity, simply due to a lack of funds.

So we see tomorrow’s competition as a great chance to fund more women to get a post-secondary education in teaching.  We hope you’ll agree and we hope you’ll join us!

We raised $19,000 last December.  Can we raise $25,000 tomorrow?!  I challenge you, I challenge the women we support-I challenge all of us to do our best for the future of Burkina Faso! 

Please set your calendar reminders for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14, 9 am EDT / 6am PDT and have your donations matched 50%.  And ask a friend or two to join in this amazing opportunity.

On behalf of the Friends of Burkina Faso and NEEED, thank you in advance for your support!

Warmly,

Suzanne Plopper, Project Leader

Mar 16, 2015

Dancing With Joy

GLOBAL GIVING REPORT MARCH 2015: RAINWATER CATCHMENTS

“We Are Dancing With Joy!” Says Mariam R, a 59 year old grandmother in Sisene.  “We worked hard to build our basin six years ago and now have a little help to maintain it properly.  The engineer has met with us for the last three months and he now has developed a design to make our basin stronger. So we are dancing to celebrate strengthening the basin before the rains come.”  She continues: “Please thank your friends that are sending money.  They are wonderful. We wish them well and invite them to come visit us and see our success. They can stay with us and we can all dance together to celebrate.” After construction of this first rainwater catchment basin in Sisene, water was available every day of the year.  Gardening began being practiced on a large scale and has become permanent. Animal husbandry, fishing, development of small businesses, markets three times each week are now standard. Over 700 girls and boys are attending school in Sisene, more than double the number attending before the catchment basin was built!  Girls attend school because they no longer have to walk three hours a day to find water for their families.  This is the success we are replicating.

Community Building Group – West Africa (CBG-WA) is a registered NGO in Burkina Faso.  Just over one year ago, our Give Water Give Life program to build rainwater catchment basins began raising funds through GlobalGiving with the assistance of Friends of Burkina Faso.  It has been a terrific relationship.  On March 12, 2015, we reached our initial goal of $35,000 thanks to the generous support of you, our 1,240 GlobalGiving donors! Now please join us in ‘dancing with joy’.

Self-Help Enables Villagers. Over the last 5 months, we developed a partnership with Florida International University WA-WASH, a water and sanitation program for villages in Burkina Faso and Niger. The WA-WASH program provides services in sanitation, building latrines, and hygiene – all services that are complementary to our rainwater catchment basins program.   Field visits by the GWGL team have generated information about family structure, education, health, and economic activities in villages wanting a new rainwater catchment basin.  Data is also being collected on physical and institutional terrain and structures; farming methods; and GPS coordinates in order to effectively use satellite imagery. Villagers speak about their individual needs with respect to water and how they are truly ready and willing to work to have a new basin. One hundred fifty villages work with the WA-WASH program in Burkina Faso.  GWGL is analyzing the data, interviewing villagers, and determining how many of them might qualify to have a new rainwater catchment basin.

CBG-WA is building rainwater catchment basins in villages throughout Burkina Faso as fast as we have sufficient funds. A new rainwater catchment basin serving 2,000 village residents costs less than $50 per person.  Having water year round is critically important to the health and well-being of every resident in every village.  Global Giving makes it easy to donate and to share, providing great benefit to the villagers of Burkina Faso.

VILLAGE OF KAMSI.  The residents of Kamsi continue to meet with GWGL staff seeking guidance to build a new rainwater catchment basin in their village.  Seeing the success in Sisene has them eager to start building now.  According to the President of the Kamsi Community Association, his village once had an adequate water supply. However, there has been very little water for more than the last 10 years.  A rainwater catchment basin is sorely needed in Kamsi. The leader of the Women’s Agriculture Cooperative, speaking on behalf of her group, states: “If you help us build a basin, there will be a complete change.  There will be no labor out-migration and there will be many improvements.” 

An entire agriculturally based village can become healthier and economically self-sufficient through sustainable community development that a single rainwater catchment basin makes possible.  Give Water Give Life (GWGL) Project has a fine tuned product that requires each basin designed: meet local conditions; include local villagers’ leadership and participation; have a clay-based porosity lining (to restore the water aquifer and help raise the water table); have an emergency spillway; include solar-powered irrigation system, solar-powered filtration system, satellite imagery for optimum location placement; and data collection on overall health and nutrition. 

Global Giving donors are making it possible to build a basin in Kamsi. GWGL aims to construct this second basin in 2015.  Your suggestions on how to make the positive impacts of a rainwater catchment basin better understood will help attract more donors and investors. As a donor yourself, please tell us what attracted you to our program and what your interests are. (You may contact me at kmcdonald@givewatergivelife.org.) Please, your continued help is very much appreciated and your ideas are always welcome. 

Mariam R, 59 year old Grandmother in Sisene
Mariam R, 59 year old Grandmother in Sisene
Field Work GWGL Team Leader
Field Work GWGL Team Leader
Community Meeting - Village of Kamsi
Community Meeting - Village of Kamsi
Farming crops with rainwater catchment basin
Farming crops with rainwater catchment basin

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