Noon Meal Improves Girls' Learning in Burkina Faso

by Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

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 to learn more about, and to donate to, this project.  

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.

The school year is off to a positive start at the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie (LMA), with the enrollment of 850 middle school and secondary school students in 17 classrooms, maintaining the standard of a maximum of 50 students per class.   

The majority of village girls who qualify for middle and secondary school in the project region entered primary school with assistance from the Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education in Burkina Faso Project (on the GlobalGiving web site) also run by Association NEEED. This project is the foundation/engine, for village girls’ education in northern Burkina Faso, without which very few village girls even enter school. The initial purchase of a lamb enables the enrollment of 6 year-old girls in village primary schools. Their parents raise and sell their lambs, and buy school materials and new lambs, each year to support their daughters’ education through 13 years of schooling (with the exception of school lunches, the cost of which is beyond parent’s reach).  Your support for the Lambs Support
Village Girls’ Education Project
allows village girls to enter school and ultimately achieve 13 years of education. Their academic performance has been phenomenal, their parents’ support outstanding.  The Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education in Burkina Faso Project needs your donations in order to continue enrolling young girls in school.  Please check it out.

As a testament to the academic achievements of “our” girls, in partnership with two generous partners, Friends of Burkina Faso is sponsoring seven village girls in post secondary training this year: in nursing, midwifery, teacher training and medicine.

At a recent ceremony honoring the support for girls’ education at the primary, middle and secondary, and post-secondary levels in the project region, a representative of the secondary school girls (who initially entered primary school with the support of the Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education Project) proclaimed, “Without the assistance from Association NEEED and its partners (that’s you!), many girls would be destined to domestic work,
field work and to be given in marriage at a young age.  Many girls, women of tomorrow, would have no possibility to contribute to the development of Burkina Faso.”

On behalf of Association NEEED, and especially “our” extraordinary girls, our sincere Thank You.  Your past and continuing support of these girls enables them to enter and progress through school with the purchase of a lamb; and to have an adequate meal each day in middle/secondary school.



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.

Bonus Day: March 16!

Dear Noon Meal project donor,
On March 16, is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project!  There is $75,000 available in matching funds on March 16.    

 In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors!
Terms and Conditions:
•    Matching is applied up to $1,000 per donor per project on March 16, 2011 between 12:01am and 11:59 pm EST (GMT-4) until matching funds run out;
•    There is $75,000 available matching funds;
•    Only online donations (credit card or paypal) are eligible for matching.  Donations made by check are not eligible;
•    Donations made on or any GlobalGiving corporate sites (including Nike, Global Action Atlas, etc) are NOT eligible for matching.

Friends of Burkina Faso would like to take this opportunity to maximize our ability to continue to support a noon meal for the girls attending the Lycee Modern de l'Amitie (middle/secondary school for girls) in northern Burkina Faso. 

Thank you for your continuing support of this project.

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Organization Information

Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

Location: Chester, CA - USA
Project Leader:
Suzanne Plopper
Project Manager, Girls' Education Project
Chester, CA United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 2,444 donors like you, a total of $175,047 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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