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.
Sep 30, 2009

photo update

New classrooms for more students at Lycee Moderne de l
New classrooms for more students at Lycee Moderne de l'Amitie

Sep 30, 2009

Fall 2009 update

500 girls, nearly all of them children of poor rural farmers in northern Burkina Faso, will begin the school year October 1 at the Lycee Moderne de l’Amitie (LMA). This is an increase of approximately 100 girls over last year. Formerly the College Modern de l’Amitie (the girls’ middle school), the school is now a combined middle/secondary school as of this year in order to facilitate the continuation of girls’ education through secondary school. Hence, the name change and the recent completion of a second bloc of classrooms. (Other girls who have completed primary school through our Lambs For School Project are attending public combined middle/secondary schools, built by NEEED, nearer their homes.) The girls continue to do extremely well academically, thanks to the LMA’s high standards, parental support (via the Lambs for School project), and the educational environment which includes a noon meal for the girls. With the increase in number of students, however, NEEED is challenged to provide a noon meal for all students this year. Parents are being asked for the first time to contribute the maximum possible to the lunch program: 25% of the cost. We need your support to ensure that the girls will be able to have a basic but nutritious noon meal, their only access to food throughout the day. Given essential educational opportunities, girls from village farming families excel academically! The farther these girls go in school, the greater the chance that they will 1) make better choices for themselves and their future families, and 2) contribute to their communities and society in productive ways. While our initial goal was to support the primary education of rural girls, we have seen (through their very high academic achievement and virtually zero dropout rate over the past ten years) both the girls’ and their parents’ commitment to continue their education as far as their efforts and our combined resources will allow them to go. For these reasons, both NEEED and Friends of Burkina Faso are determined to provide an adequate educational environment for the girls through secondary school. They have earned, and continue to earn, our support! Our sincere thank you for your donations to the Noon Meal Improves Girls Learning in Burkina Faso Project. Your support contributes importantly to the educational environment that makes such achievement possible. Look for updates on the continuing progress of these exceptional girls. We welcome your questions &/or feedback regarding any aspect of this project.

Jul 14, 2009

A Postcard from Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso

Sheila Leonard is an intern at GlobalGiving. This summer she traveled throughout West Africa and visited a number of GlobalGiving projects. On May 29th she visited "Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso." When asked what she would tell her friends about this project, Sheila said: "Great: They are making a difference."

This project is awesome. Seeing these very poor little girls hold on to their lambs for dear life and try desperately to keep them in line was inspiring. Each school I visited (2) sponsored around 25 girls by Friends of Burkina Faso/NEEED. For my visit, the parents came to school and brought their lambs. Picture 20 bleating lambs tied up around a million school kids running through them - it was quite a sight to see. In a culture where girls barely attend school, husbands have multiple wives, and women start bearing children in their teens, creating a project that designates these girls as worthwhile to themselves and their families brought tears to my eyes. After visiting some of the surrounding villages, it is clear one lamb is a great luxury for these families.

Asking questions directly to the parents and children proved difficult because of their fear of me, and the language of course! The father of one 6 year old girl told me (through two translators - More (the local language) to French to English) "NEEED helps the kids have clothing to wear and good working conditions at the school and a better future. But especially we thank for clothing to wear...We wish that all the girls are supported by NEEED, it is difficult because it is a limited number of children" It is true - NEEED works with school administrators to support the neediest children in the village, not every student. The parents and administrators also begged me for better school buildings. One of the schools only has a thatched roof and no door so wind, dust, and stray animals join the classroom at any moment.

The best part of this project is the responsibility bestowed on the families. Instead of just giving each family school tuition, the family must take care of the lamb and help it grow so they can receive a better price the following year - enough to buy 2 new lambs and start the process over. NEEED is very well-organized and had a good answer for everyone of my probbing development questions. I admire their throughness in making sure girls attend school, and parents are involved in the process. Burkina Faso is a beautiful country with kind friendly people and I am glad to see a project that gives help where it is needed.

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