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.
Aug 5, 2015

School Lunches A Key to Successful Students

The goal of the Noon Meal Improves Girls’ Learning in Burkina Faso Project is to ensure that students at the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie receive at least one meal a day. The Lycee Modern de l’Amitie (a combined middle/secondary school in northern Burkina Faso), provides a middle and secondary school education to girls and orphaned boys from rural and indigent families who are otherwise unable to send their children to school.  50% of the students in the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie (LMA) began their primary school education with the support of the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project which enabled the entry of village girls into primary school and was supported by GlobalGiving donors until 2014 when it met its funding goal. 

The LMA opened its doors in 2005 and in ten years has grown from two classrooms and 120 students to 16 classrooms and 876 students.  

With high academic standards, a positive educational environment and qualified and committed instructors, students of the LMA score outstandingly well on national exit exams.  In 2014, 82% of LMA students successfully completed middle school and 79% of LMA students successfully completed secondary school.

A basic mid-day meal, for many LMA students the only meal they get daily, is a key component to their success. This noon meal is made possible by donors.  From 2006 - 2012, the Noon Meal Improves Girls’ Learning in Burkina Faso Project, supported by Friends of Burkina Faso, was featured on the GlobalGiving website and raised funds for meals for girls of the LMA who walk 6 kms roundtrip daily to attend school and have no other source of food during the day. 

Thanks to the very generous support of GlobalGiving donors, in 2012 we reached our funding goal, ensuring that students had a noon meal each day they were in school.  We worked with another LMA partner who ultimately assumed support for school lunches. 

Due to recent economic hardships, the partner to this project is unable to support student lunches at the LMA.  Association NEEED has asked us (Friends of Burkina Faso) if we could resume our support.  Lunches consist of “sagabo” (a millet-based paste), rice or beans with local sauces and cost approximately $.45 per day, $9 per month, or $76.50 per year per student.

The canteen is run by 3 cooks.  Students provide all of the serving and dining area cleanup. 

The canteen is necessary due to the distance between the school and the town where the students reside, and because of the extreme poverty of the students’ parents and the living conditions of some students.  For some, lodging is a mat to sleep on and they must find their own food.   School lunch ensures them at least one meal a day, contributing to the phenomenal success of these students.

Children need a minimum of nutrition in order to concentrate in school. Students of the LMA are counting on your generous support so that they may have school lunches next year.

Your support is critically important and very much appreciated!  Please let us know if you have suggestions for improving our communication with you and other potential supporters.  Your comments are always welcome.  You can reach me at smplopper@aol.com

Thank you.

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

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