By Suzanne Plopper | Project Manager, Girls' Education Project
As reported recently, the student population at the College Modern de l'Amitie (girls' middle school) is doubling next year and is planned to go up by at least 1/3 the following year. The population of rural girls entering primary school with our support is going up by 1/3 next year as well. As our Burkinabe colleagues have recently informed us " La machine de l’education des filles est lancée. Les parents perçoivent de plus en plus le bien fondé de l’éducation des filles, ce qui fait que NEEED est de plus en plus sollicité." (The idea of girls education has taken off. Parents perceive more and more the importance of educating girls, which means that NEEED is increasingly solicited ..." by village leaders and parents requesting assistance to help give their daughters an opportunity to go to school.)
With your help, Friends of Burkina Faso will cover the cost of the school lunch program for the middle school for the next two years. We are working towards raising $42,000 to cover the cost of the school lunch program for this school year. Thank you for your support.
Our organization participated in the GlobalGiving FilmFest and we would like to share with you the video produced by filmmaker Kathleen Kastl (check out link below). This video tells our story and that of the people who are impacted by our work.
Take a look at some attached photos and our new photos in the project photo gallery.
We are also pleased to report that we received an extra $5,000 from eBay for our project thanks to your generous donations during the eBay bounty period.
I just got word from our colleagues in Burkina Faso that the school enrollment will be 400 this year (50 more than I had guessed); and based on this increase, there will likely be 600 students next year. The cost of lunches for next year will be $24,000 and for the following year $36,000. We have already paid for lunches for the past school year. (Based on enrollment and number of school days per year, the cost per child per day is US$0.33, including ingredients, preparation and cooking fuel.)
These girls from rural villages are doing extremely well academically........... but of course, as with any project like this that grows so fast, it becomes more challenging to keep up the financial side.
NEEED, the organization we support, and which runs this girls' education project, is:
a.. planning to double the capacity of the girls' middle school in order to accomodate all girls out of rural primary schools who qualify. (NEEED will need to ultimately limit their enrollment at 1000 students.) They just received a surprise $10,000 and are beginning construction of the foundation of a new bloc of classrooms.
b.. seeking funds from other sources to build two new public middle schools in the region, and negotiating with the Ministry of Education to move these potential new public schools up the priority list for the MOE budget, in order to continue to ensure all girls (and boys in the case of the public schools) who successfully finish primary school a place in middle school. In addition to benefitting the girls they support in primary and middle school, NEEED also hopes to demonstrate to the government the capacity of these young girls and the benefits of educating women so as to nudge the government to do more in women's education in other regions of the country.
I'm very proud to be a partner with such forward-thinking, energetic and generous people........and of course do want to miss opportunities to help them achieve their goals.
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Project Manager, Girls' Education Project
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