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.
May 12, 2016

Reports From 2 New Teachers

Salimata de N
Salimata de N

The name Salimata is a very popular woman’s name in Burkina Faso. Thus, it is not surprising that I share with you recent stories from two Salimatas who completed their primary school teacher training together in 2015, and asked that I share with you their new experience as teachers. While in training, they became known as Salimata de N and Salimata de O.


Salimata de N: I began my teaching career this school year in Leba/Zondoma, located 30 km from Ouahigouya (the largest town in northern Burkina Faso). Leba/Zondoma has a population of about 3,740, of which 1,090 are school age children. It has two primary schools and a secondary school.


I teach a first grade class of 49 students (19 girls and 30 boys). I share lodging at the school with three other female teachers and enjoy spending my time preparing my courses, teaching them and correcting student homework. I love teaching and am very grateful to Global Giving donors who have made my training possible.


Salimata de O: I teach second grade in the village of Zamyoro, 23 km from Ouahigouya. Zamyoro has a population of about 620, of which almost 270 are children. My primary school has 103 students, three teachers and three classrooms. I have a class of 75 second graders (38 boys and 37 girls). Our school cannot accept more than the current 103 students due to its poor infrastructure. We have to turn children away and many of them find their way to the gold mines to try to get a little money for their families.


I teach from 7:30 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm. I organize special sessions some afternoons for children who need extra help. A major problem for me and the other teachers, and students, is the lack of potable water at the school. Both students and teachers must go one km away to obtain water from a well.


Thank you GlobalGiving donors. I hope you will continue to help young women like myself to be trained as teachers so that we can teach the children in our village primary schools.

Salimata de O
Salimata de O
Apr 28, 2016

Adequate Nutrition Essential for Serious Studies

Zalissa, age 13
Zalissa, age 13

I want to share with you the expression of appreciation of several students of the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie (LMA, the combined middle-secondary school for girls from indigent families) in northern Burkina Faso. Each of them comes from a subsistence farming family who is unable to support their education. These girls did remarkably well in their village primary schools and, thanks to generous support to the LMA, were offered the opportunity to continue their studies at the LMA. Because the lodging these students are able to find generally does not include meals, it is particularly important that their school provide them a noon meal.


Zalissa. I am 13 years old. I am an orphan. I found a place to stay in a town 2 km from the school. This is my first year at this school. My extended family sent me here because the classes are better and because I could get a meal every day. I can eat here and study all day. The canteen plays a big role in my studies. Without it, it would be difficult for me to study. I am very happy to be here.

Marie. I am 19 years old. This is my 7th and final year at the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie. The LMA is the best middle-secondary school in the region. This is obvious if one looks at the results of school exams. The canteen plays an important role for us who come from very poor families. We eat for free at noon and this helps us concentrate on our studies. I anticipate earning my BAC (secondary school diploma) in June. I thank the donors who support the lycee and encourage them to continue to support the canteen.

Bintou. I am 16 years old. My parents live 75 km from my school. They wanted me to go to this school because of the quality of the classes and so that I could benefit from a noon meal. At home, there is very little to eat. My parents are subsistent farmers and therefore I would not have been able to continue my studies without the opportunity to enroll in this school. With the canteen, I can eat, rest and review my coursework before resuming classes in the afternoon. Thank you to Friends of Burkina Faso for your support of the canteen.

 

On behalf of all of the village girls attending the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie, I want to thank all of our generous GlobalGiving donors. For many of these bright and hardworking students, the noon meal (of rice, beans or pasta) is their « daily bread ». Your continued support is essential to their ability to study and to succeed.

Marie, age 19
Marie, age 19
Bintou, age 16
Bintou, age 16
Feb 26, 2016

Education Transforms Village Girls

Village girls starting school/in teacher training
Village girls starting school/in teacher training

All of our scholarship recipients come from indigent village families.  In nearly all cases, fathers are subsistence farmers in the Sahel.  In several cases, the father is deceased.   In all cases, mothers are “housewives” which means that they walk miles every day to find wood to cook with and water for drinking, cooking and bathing for their families; and they work in their husbands’ fields.  Most students have between 4 and 8 siblings.  In many cases, these young women are the first in their families to attend school.  In a short while, thanks to you, our generous GlobalGiving partners, they will be teachers for the next generation of village children in the region they came from. 

 These young village women have earned their access to primary school teacher training by being at the top of their class.  Once trained, they will be assigned as teachers in village primary schools. 

 Receiving primary school teacher training is not only rewarding and productive for the individual scholarship recipients but for villages as well.  In addition to our students’ commitment to become the best teachers they can be, these young women have a strong commitment to serve as positive role models to village parents and children.  The presence of an increasing number of young women teachers in village primary schools in northern Burkina Faso is already beginning to have a positive effect on villagers’ perceptions of women’s roles and of the future of young girls whose parents support their education.  

 Among this year’s scholarship recipients, nearly all cite two secondary roles once they become teachers.  First, advocating with village parents to send their children to school.  Second, helping village women acquire skills to enable them to develop small markets for local goods.

We are contributing to the training of a remarkable group of young women who are dedicated to the future of both the younger generation and to the improvement of living conditions of their families.  These young teacher trainees are profoundly grateful for your support in this endeavor and hope that you will lend a generous hand to next year’s girls qualifying for postsecondary education.

 

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