Oct 16, 2011

New Name Reflects Girls' Success

As the new school year begins, your generous support has enabled the enrollment of another 300 young village girls in northern Burkina Faso into government village primary schools.   Beginning in 2003, when the first girls supported
by this project completed primary school, girls supported by this project have consistently outperformed all students in the region on exit exams from primary school by an average of 15 percentage points. 

These girls are enrolling in middle and secondary school in greater numbers each year as well.   We are extremely grateful to two donors who have offered a limited number of scholarships for girls in this project who successfully complete secondary school.   In 2010, donations from these partners provided scholarships to: 9 girls for primary school teacher training, 2 girls for nursing training, 1 girl for midwifery training, and 1 girl who is studying law at the University of Ouagadougou; and in 2011: 3 girls in primary school teacher training, 3 girls in nursing training, 1 girl in midwifery training, and 1 girl who is studying medicine at the University of Ouagadougou.  All of these girls are from poor rural farming families and some have lost one or both parents. 

Given the strong academic success of the village girls we support and the exceptional response of their parents who depend upon our partnership only for their daughters’ first year of school, we are re-naming the project Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education.  This new title reflects more clearly the structure of this project: your donations help purchase a girl’s first year school materials and her first lamb.  Parents raise and sell their lambs, and buy school materials and new lambs, each year to support their daughters’ remaining 12 years of schooling.   

Our original goal of enrolling 900 girls has been surpassed.  However, the demand and the positive response of parents and village leaders has been phenomenal.   In order to continue to offer village girls in this region a chance at an education and all that this implies in terms of choices in their lives, we are asking you – their partners – to continue to give them that opportunity to enter school.  They and their parents will do the rest! 

In that spirit, I would like to call your attention to GlobalGiving’s final Bonus Day of the year this Wednesday October 19.   Online donations made to this project on Wednesday will be matched by 30% up to $1000 per donor.  And if we raise the most funds, or have the most individual donors, the Lambs Support Girls’ Education project will receive an additional $1000. 

On behalf of the exceptional young village girls in northern Burkina Faso, our sincere gratitude to all of you, our partners in this endeavor.

Jul 18, 2011

Our Students Continue to Excel

The Lycee Moderne de l'Amitie (LMA, the combined middle/secondary school) reports the following year-end results for its students:  70% of all students successfully passed national exams, qualifying them to proceed to the next class. 

Unfortunately, Burkina Faso experienced political unrest for much of the spring semester which forced the closing of schools for extended periods of time during the semester.  This disrupted the educational system throughout the country and impacted teachers' ability to adequately cover subject matter in their classes. 

Given these conditions, however, students of the LMA still outperformed other middle school students in the region.  Forty eight percent of LMA students passed the BEPC (the exit exam at the end of middle school which determines if a student may go on to secondary school) versus 30% of students at all other middle schools in the region.

Jul 18, 2011

Girls' Education Gains Traction in Rural Burkina Faso

Thanks to the generous support of our GlobalGiving partners, 300 6-year old village girls in northern Burkina Faso enrolled in primary school last fall through the "Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso" Project (also known as the Lambs for School Project in which the project supports a girl's first year of school and the purchase of a lamb; and the parents are responsible for raising and selling their daughter's lamb each year to support her remaining 12 years of school).   

Village girls receiving our support have no other avenue to education due to the extreme poverty of their families.   To quote Jeanne Elisabeth Sanga (who attends the public primary school in the village of Dandambara): "My parents are poor.  Without this support from NEEED, I would never have the chance to go to school.  My mother is proud of me."

Overall, 98% of the primary school girls supported by the Lambs for School Project passed national exams this year, qualifying them to advance to the next grade.  Eighty-six percent of the girls supported by the Lambs for School Project who were in their final year of primary school this year passed national exams,enabling them to enter middle school.  Both of these exam results are well above the national average.

The academic success of village girls supported by this project is creating intense pressure by rural populations in  the region for the education of young girls.  The awakening of the awareness of the value of girls's education has taken off with the recent success of village girls enrolled in school.  According to NEEED (the local NGO that runs this project), virtually all rural parents now want their daughters to go to school, a phenomenon unheard of ten years ago.  With support from its GlobalGiving partners, NEEED would like to enroll 500 girls in primary school each year in order to better respond to the demands of parents, and to contribute to healthier families and development in the region.

On behalf of the Lambs for School girls, I extend our sincere thanks to all of our GlobalGiving partners for your past, and continuing, support.  We appreciate your sharing our girls' needs, and their successes, with your social networks.  We welcome your questions about any aspect of the project, and we welcome your ideas about how we can expand our support for it.

 “Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process.   It is also the most
influential factor in improving child health and reducing infant mortality”.  (Women’s Empowerment and Reproductive Health, UN Fund for Population Activities, 2000)


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