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Jan 31, 2011

100% of Primary School Girls Succeed in Trimester Exams

Ouedraogo Abibata is grateful for your support
Ouedraogo Abibata is grateful for your support

As a testament to the seriousness with which both parents and young girls respond to the opportunity for an education in northern Burkina Faso, a full 100% of primary school girls supported by the Lambs for School Project succeeded in their first trimester exams this school year.  As indicated in earlier updates, girls supported by this project have consistently outperformed their classmates at all levels.

We are re-naming the Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso Project the Lambs for School Project, reflecting the locally conceived and very successful strategy for engaging parents in the support of their daughters’ education.   This strategy was and is to provide 6-year old village girls with the basic necessities that allow them to enter village primary school plus a lamb (at a total cost of $90).  The girls and their parents raise the lambs and sell them each year in order to buy school materials for the following year and a new lamb, this for the following 12 years of primary, middle and secondary school.  This project is the key which enables young village girls to enter school and get an education instead of being married off at an early age with no education and without their consent.

In a region where culture has not been very supportive of the education of girls in the past, and where extreme poverty means that parents are unable to pay the basic cost of sending their daughters to school, both village chiefs and parents are asking in ever increasing numbers for help in enrolling their daughters in primary school.    

This year, in collaboration with two generous partners, we were able to send 13 Lambs for School village girls who graduated from secondary school to training in primary school teaching, nursing, midwifery and one to the university to study law.   

Given the phenomenal educational success of these girls and the great demand for increasing girls’ educational opportunity expressed by many villages in the region, NEEED (the local NGO that runs this project) is asking us to increase the number of girls we support next year from 300 to 400.   The girls and their parents will do the rest: the girls will continue to work hard and succeed in school; and the parents will raise and sell their daughters’ lambs to support their educational needs, and encourage their daughters to do their very best in school. 

These girls, like Ouedraogo Abibata (see photo) are counting on all of us, their partners, to give them a chance at an education.

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

Jan 26, 2011

Students' commitment to the noon meal

Serving bowls of beans
Serving bowls of beans

The cantine at the Lycee Modern de l'Amitie is operated by by 4 cooks and  provides a hot lunch (of beans, rice or pasta) to 750 students daily when school is in session.  In order to economize and to instill a sense of responsibility in the students, students are required to serve all of the lunches and and to maintain a clean dining area.   Due to the large number of students and the size of the cantine, students must take their lunches in two sittings both inside and outside the dining room.  Students rotate as servers for their assigned tables of 12.  

Photo 1: serving bowls of beans just out of the kitchen. 

Photo 2: a student picks up the serving bowl for her table.

Following each sitting, students clean the tables and sweep the floor.  Once a week, students wash down the entire dining area floor.

The cantine is necessary not only because of the distance between the school and the town where the vast majority of students reside, but also because of the extreme poverty of the students’ parents and the living conditions of some students.  Some students’ lodging consists of a mat to sleep on and they must find their own food to eat.   Providing them lunch at school reduces distances they must walk, ensures them at least one meal a day, and enables them to study before afternoon classes resume.  Most girls entered school initially with the assistance of the Lambs for School Project (GlobalGiving project #1818).  However, the sale of their lambs each year covers their school clothes and materials and is not sufficient to cover the cost of school lunches.

Photo 3: Ouedraogo Suzanne: "I live 11 km from school and the cantine allows me to eat, to rest and to study my lessons before classes resume in the afternoon."

Photo 4: Sarambe Karidiata: "Without the cantine, I would be obliged to pass the entire day with nothing to eat."

The noon meal which you so generously support is essential to the phenomenal success of these students.

A student takes a serving bowl from the kitchen
A student takes a serving bowl from the kitchen
Ouedraogo Suzanne
Ouedraogo Suzanne
Sarambe Karidiata
Sarambe Karidiata
Oct 25, 2010

Exciting news from, & for, Lambs for School Girls

Our sincere thanks to our generous GlobalGiving partners for your donations to the Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso Project. With your continuing support, we will be able to send another 300 six-year old village girls in northern Burkina Faso to primary school this year. Villagers in this region are indigent farmers and are unable to send their daughters to school. Initial donor support enables these girls to enter school after which their parents commit to raise and sell their lambs each year in order to support their daughters’ educations for the following 12 years.

These girls continue to do very well in school. This table shows percentages of girls supported by the Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso (also known as the Lambs for School Project) who have passed the exit exam at the end of primary school and qualified to go on to middle school in comparison to the percentage of all primary school students in northern Burkina.

                         2003     2004      2005      2006     2007     2008     2009     2010

Lambs for School 80.6      80.1      79.3      81.2      82.9      84.4      87.8      86.3

All children          62.4      64.6      64.2      63.2      65.7      66.3      68.0      65.1

These students continue to do very well in middle and secondary school as well. The passing rate for girls supported by the Lambs for School Project is consistently almost double that of all other middle school students in the region.

I am happy to share with you that NEEED (the local organization that runs this project) is implementing a post secondary training/education project this fall for village girls who successfully complete secondary school. Thus, at least some of the girls who have entered primary school through the Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso/Lambs for School Project and who have now successfully completed secondary school will have a chance to receive primary school teacher training, nursing or midwifery training, or a university education. NEEED, with support of its partners, will provide as many scholarships each year as funds allow to these secondary school graduates. Thanks to several generous partners, Friends of Burkina Faso is providing 13 scholarships this year to:  nine (9) girls in primary school teacher training, two (2) girls in diploma nursing training, one (1) girl in State nursing training, and one (1) girl who will attend the University of Ouagadougou and study law.  All of these girls are from rural farming families and 10 are orphans.  THUS, AT LEAST SOME OF THE VILLAGE GIRLS YOU HAVE SUPPORTED WHO AT AGE 6 HAD NO HOPE OF EVEN ENTERING SCHOOL WILL NOW BECOME EDUCATORS, NURSES AND A LAWYER! THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF THIS!

I hope you find your partnership with these girls valuable and worthwhile. I know the economy is tough, and I thank you for investing your hard-earned money on the hard-working young women in northern Burkina Faso. Please consider telling your friends and family about the Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso Project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best, so use your own words - tell them why you chose this project and what it means to you. If you need additional information, please contact me:

Thank you again for giving these bright and hard working girls an opportunity to make a difference in their lives, their communities and their nation.

Most sincerely, Suzanne Plopper

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

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