Noon Meal Improves Girls' Learning in Burkina Faso

by Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)
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

Thanks to our generous GlobalGiving partners, we are able to continue to provide noon meals to the students of the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie – LMA (the combined middle/secondary school built for rural girls in northern Burkina Faso).

Your donations provide the students of this school a basic noon meal every day they are in school. This contributes immeasurably to their academic success. The following table shows the percentage of students in the LMA, and of all middle school students in northern Burkina Faso, who passed national exams at the end of each year of middle school in order to go on to the next grade. Note that the passing rate for students of the LMA is consistently almost double that of all other schools in the region. The combination of learning conditions (including a noon meal along with high academic standards, committed teachers, parents and students, and small class size) are crucial to this success. (In response to significantly lower scores this year than in previous years, our colleagues in Burkina say that “all of the teachers and actors in the world of education felt like the exams were far more difficult this year than in previous years”. The national pass rate was 32%.)

                                                      2006      2007      2008      2009      2010

Middle/secondary school for girls      71.0      77.18      81.15      79.0      53.84

All students in middle schools          36.26    37.62      41.78      39.83     29.16

in northern Burkina Faso

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 girls who successfully complete secondary school. Thus, at least some of the girls whose noon meals you support in the LMA who successfully complete 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 scholarships this year to 13 secondary school graduates: 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 ten are orphans.These scholarships will enable the girls to learn a marketable skill needed in Burkina Faso. This means that at least some of these village girls who at age 6 had no hope of an education will now become educators, nurses and a lawyer!

I hope you find your partnership with these girls to be valuable and worthwhile. We realize that the economy is tough, and we thank you for investing your hard-earned money in the hard-working young women in northern Burkina Faso. Please consider telling your friends and family about the Noon Meal project for middle and secondary students in northern Burkina Faso - 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 the Noon Meal Project and what it means to you.

Thank you again for all you have done to support the Noon Meal project, an essential component of the optimal learning conditions that NEEED endeavors to maintain for the middle and secondary school girls of the Lycee Modern de l'Amitie in northern Burkina Faso.

Most sincerely,

Suzanne Plopper 


Thanks to your generous support in 2009, the students of the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie (newly combined middle/secondary school for girls in northern Burkina Faso) continue to benefit from a basic but nutritious noon meal at school. A special thanks to everyone who contributed to the Noon Meal Improves Girls’ Learning in Burkina Faso Project 1) through Oprah’s For All Women Registry in October, and 2) during GlobalGiving’s Give More Get More Challenge in November-December. Your generous response during these two events has been critical to our ability to ensure school lunches through the remainder of this school year. The students continue to do very well in their studies. We look forward to posting year-end results in May. The number of students qualifying to attend this school continues to increase. With an anticipated student population of approximately 800 next school year, the cost of school lunches will increase by a third. Your continued support is greatly appreciated by the students of the Lycee Modern de l’Amitie. “There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls”. Kofi Annon, former U.N. Secretary General.

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

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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Organization Information

Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

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

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Thanks to 2,441 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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