Apr 18, 2012

Project Funded - Thank You!

Greetings friends,

Since 2006, the Noon Meals Improves Girls’ Learning in Burkina Faso Project has been part of the GlobalGiving community.  Thanks to the very generous support of 4941 donors like you, we have reached our goal of $175,000 to support school lunches for students of the combined middle-secondary school for girls) in northern Burkina Faso.  In the past six years, the student body has grown from 200 to 850 students and you have helped to ensure that the girls have had a noon meal each day they were in school.  This has contributed immeasurably to their high academic achievement.  During this time, we have also worked with other partners who have supported other components of this school.  We will continue to contribute to school lunches for the next two years, after which our partners will assume full support for school lunches for these girls. 

As you know, the Noon Meals Improves Girls’ Learning Project is part of a larger effort aimed at promoting the education of village girls in northern Burkina Faso.   The foundation of this effort, the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project supports the educational costs and a lamb for each girl entering primary school - at a cost of $80.  Parents raise and sell the lambs each year in order to support their daughter’s remaining 12 years of primary-middle-secondary school.  Thus, $80 in donations pays for 13 years of schooling! 

The aim of this project is to give village girls the opportunity to go to school, and to demonstrate to parents and to the Government of Burkina Faso the value of educating village women.  Tremendous interest and appreciation has been expressed by village leaders and parents and by the Government of Burkina Faso for this project.  The girls consistently do very well in school.  NEEED (the local NGO that runs the project) has intervened in 161 villages in the region, supporting the first year educational costs and a lamb for 15-25 girls in a village one time, and demonstrating to parents how they can support their daughters’ education via the “Lambs” strategy.  NEEED has requests from 60 additional villages in the region to participate in the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project and anticipates similar requests from the remaining approximately 40 villages in the northern region.   The Government of Burkina Faso honored our organization and by extension all of our GlobalGiving donors/partners on their Independence Day December 12, 2011 for our support of village girls’ education in the northern region.

With the support of its partners, NEEED hopes to intervene in each of the remaining villages one time over the next 3 years. 

According to the United Nations, “Women’s education is the most influential factor in improving child health and reducing infant mortality.  Nothing will turn the tide against poverty the way that education can, especially for girls.  The returns, with respect to the next generation of children, are striking.”  We invite you to join us in enabling NEEED to jumpstart girls’ education throughout the remaining villages of the northern region of Burkina Faso.  Please go to www.globalgiving.org/projects/girls-in-africa/ to learn more about, and to donate to, this project.  

Mar 21, 2012

Village Girls' Education Expands

Mande Amade & his daughter Nafisatu Surmande
Mande Amade & his daughter Nafisatu Surmande

Villagers in the Northern Region of Burkina Faso are embracing girls’ education like never before.   We must not allow the momentum of their motivation to ebb.  In all of the villages I visited in December, parents and elders came forth to express their support for the education of their daughters.  They are realizing that the girls who enter school through a modest “hand up” from this project and continued support from parents, outperform their classmates; and that some of these girls will have an opportunity to go on to nursing, midwifery, and primary teaching training or a university education with the support of another Friends of Burkina Faso project.

 In the attached photos from my visit to the project in December, both fathers and grandparents stepped forward to express their pride in their daughters, and granddaughters, as well as their determination to see that these young girls be given an opportunity to earn an education. 

To date, the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project has intervened in 161 villages in the Northern Region of Burkina Faso.   Parents and village leaders in approximately 100 additional villages in the region have requested participation in the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project.  NEEED’s goal is to cover the remaining villages (as always – one time per village) over the next 3-4 years, enabling approximately 2000 young girls to enter primary school and impressing upon parents the importance of using their lambs’ support to educate younger siblings.  With your help, Friends of Burkina Faso will enable 1000 of these girls to enter primary school. 

In order for NEEED to achieve this goal and to concretize in the minds of parents throughout the region the importance of girls’ education, Friends of Burkina Faso needs to expand our support for this project one last time.  By raising our funding goal to $120,000 we will enable NEEED to intervene with: the enrollment of young girls into primary school in the remaining villages in the region, and the demonstration to parents of what their daughters can achieve and how they can help them.

Many thanks for your past and continuing support for the education of “our” girls!

Grandparents insist on education for Alimata
Grandparents insist on education for Alimata
Jan 23, 2012

Middle/secondary school plans expansion

During my visit to Burkina Faso in December, I met with administrators, teachers and students of the middle/secondary school for girls.  I continue to be impressed with the organization, discipline and seriousness with which everyone views this school in terms of the quality of education it offers to its students.  Because of its very positive reputation, there is increasing competition for students to be enrolled there.  With 850 students this year, NEEED hopes to add additional classrooms to accomodate a maximum of 1000 students.  This will necessitate expansion of the cafeteria as well.

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