In Burkina Faso, when girls come of age, beginning their menstruation cycle can mean the end of their education. Due to a lack of resources and primarily a lack of awareness and understanding of this natural process for every young woman, girls will often completely stop going to school when they begin menstruating. BARKA Foundation has an innovative approach to alleviate the problem by bringing this taboo subject into the open and raising the awareness of girls, boys, teachers and parents.
Burkina Faso is among the least developed nations in the world. Only 68% of the country has access to water, and only 12% has access to sanitation. Menstruation is itself a very taboo subject, in a country context where 70% of girls have experienced some form of genital mutilation or cutting. Girls at school lack resources and information to be able to manage their menstrual cycle appropriately . The result is humiliation, isolation, unwanted pregnancies, and ultimately, dropping out of school.
The amazing thing about this problem is that it is completely preventable. The key is to bring this taboo topic into the light of day to raise awareness and "sensitize" people on this important theme. BARKA will implement a series of interactive training sessions and seminars specific for girls, boys, teachers and parents. Key social messages will be reinforced through a theatrical performance which will tour high schools in Fada and even local rural villages. Together we will empower girls.
The project will be led by female teachers in the two largest high schools of Fada N'Gourma, consisting of1652 girls and 1669 boys. Including parents and teachers, the initial # of beneficiaries will be more than 4000. Once the theatre performances begin to tour schools in the city of Fada and surrounding villages, we expect to reach up to 10,000 people. This project will not only raise awareness, it will also provide schools with necessary resources to deal with girls' menstrual hygiene.