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Jan 11, 2010

New project developments

Thanks to the generous support of Global Giving donors, Friends of Burkina Faso has again been able to support 300 girls entering primary school this year through the Lambs For School Project. As of this year, we have supported approximately 1800 girls entering primary school in northern Burkina Faso. (See the 7/8/09 update for our Lambs For School Project strategy.)

The first group of girls supported by this project has finished middle school. Seventy-two percent of these girls passed the national exit exam, qualifying them to go on to secondary school (in contrast to 39% of middle school students in the region who passed this exam).

In anticipation of the girls’ success, NEEED (the local organization that runs the project) 1) expanded the middle school this year and made it a combined college/lycee (middle/secondary school), and 2) received funds to build three new secondary schools in the region which it has turned over to the government .... all of this for the purpose of accommodating the students finishing middle school and qualifying for secondary school.

NEEED is beginning to look for ways to support girls in post-secondary training (professional schools and the university).

Collectively, we have come a very long way! This is due to: 1) the commitment, imagination and hard work of NEEED, 2) the hard work of the individual students, 3) the enthusiastic engagement of their parents, and 4) the generous support of donors like you. What began ten years ago as a modest attempt to offer a primary education to a small number of rural village girls has evolved into ever-rising expectations about what these village girls can achieve when given an opportunity. There is the very real possibility that a high percentage of them will be able to complete professional training &/or university-level educations.

Our sincere thanks to you for your continued support for the education of these girls. Without our collective support, none of them could have even dreamed of school.

“Unless the girls are educated, society will not change”. Greg Mortenson (author of Three Cups of Tea)

Sep 30, 2009

photo update

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

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