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 9, 2013

300 Grateful Young Girls

As the school year begins, 300 young village girls are grateful for your support enabling them to enter primary school.  Our partner, Association NEEED, is currently distributing school supplies and working with parents to purchase the lambs that will support the girls’ remaining 12 years of primary-secondary education.  We will share photos of this year’s girls as soon as we receive them.

Meanwhile, we have received results of government year end testing of primary school students from last year: 86.4% of the girls supported by this Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education Project successfully passed these exams to complete primary school and enroll in middle school this year compared with 62.4% of all students in the Northern Region.   This achievement level of girls supported by this project has been consistent since our support began in 2002.  It is remarkable for two reasons: 1) the girls (and their parents) have taken seriously the opportunity given them for an education, and 2) it demonstrates the importance of very basic schools supplies in enhancing a child’s ability to maximize her potential.  

In addition, younger girls are increasingly seeing older girls receive scholarships (supported by Friends of Burkina Faso and our partners, including GlobalGiving) to continue their educations beyond secondary school.  This is a huge source of motivation and hope.

The Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education Project costs less in donor support than any education project I have ever seen in terms of cost per child per year of education: a $90 donation provides the initial necessary support allowing a girl to achieve 13 years of education. 

  Thanks again for your generous and continuing support for the education of these girls.   Photos of “our girls” will be forthcoming soon.

Aug 2, 2013

Six girls to receive scholarships

Thanks to your generous support to this project and to the microprojects associated with this project, we are able to offer six scholarships this year for post secondary education and training for girls in northern Burkina Faso.  The scholarships will be for midwifery training (1), 3-year nursing training (2), and primary school teacher training (3).  We moved funds from 2-year nursing training into 3-nursing training and primary school teacher training because the Government of Burkina Faso is not currently offering exams for entrance into civil service for 2-year nurses.

With the addition of scholarships from two other generous partners, we are offering a total of 21 scholarships this year for: Master’s level law studies (1), university education (1), midwifery training (5), 3-year nursing training (4), and primary school teacher training (10).  Association NEEED, our partner organization in Burkina, is in the process of publicizing the availability of scholarships and will soon begin the selection process in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education.

Although we are extremely pleased to be able to offer this many scholarships this year, we are also mindful that over 200 qualified girls apply for these scholarships each year.   We hope to be able to offer scholarships to more girls next year, enabling them to acquire an education and a profession.

Of the 33 girls we have supported in the past three years, 26 have successfully completed their post secondary training and six are progressing satisfactorily in their training.  The girls have been well selected and have taken their studies seriously.

In our next report, we will share photos of the girls who you have so generously enabled to enroll in post secondary training this year.  In the meantime, our most sincere thank you for your past and continuing support for the post secondary education and training for the outstanding girls who ask only for a hand-up.

Jun 11, 2013

Bonus Day: Make a Difference

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 12, is GlobalGiving’s biggest Bonus Day of the year.  GlobalGiving will match all donations to this project by 50% up to a maximum of $1000 per donor.   Only online donations (credit card or PayPal) are eligible for matching. The $90,000 in bonus funds will go fast!   Bonus Day begins at 9am EST, (6am PST). Mark your calendars to donate at 9am EST!! The matching funds go fast, so do it early!

As the school year comes to a close, we are optimistic about year-end notes for the primary school girls we have supported this year.  We anticipate receiving their academic results soon.

And though it is a ways off for these girls, we are increasingly optimistic about their futures beyond secondary school as scholarships become available for post-secondary training.     

As our partner, Association NEEED, responds to the requests of 60 more villages to participate in this project (for young girls to receive school materials and a lamb for their first year of school, after which their parents raise and sell the lamb each year to pay for subsequent years of her education), I am reminded of how the leaders of this project began with the idea of closing the gender gap in public education in the northern region of Burkina Faso by enabling as many young girls as project funds will allow each year to enter school.   This idea has led to an enormous change in village parents’ interest in, and commitment to, ensuring that their daughters receive an education.   Parents whose daughters have participated in the project earlier continue to apply the “lambs” strategy to send younger daughters to school, and girls continue to succeed in school at a rate far beyond that of their peers in the region (89% to 63% last year).  It is clear that NEEED has a simple strategy for girls’ education that works: a modest one-time assistance to young girls, parental commitment to their daughters’ educational success, involvement of teachers and village leaders, and effective oversight by NEEED.

Thank you for your generous and continued support for village girls’ education in Burkina Faso!

There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls. (Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General)

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