Lambs Support Village Girls' Education

by Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

Thanks to all of your generous donations over the past seven years, we have reached our funding goal of $120,000 for the Lambs Support Girls’ Education Project.  This enables Friends of Burkina Faso to meet our commitment to our Burkinabe partner, Association NEEED, to respond to requests from a final 30 villages in northern Burkina Faso who have expressed interest in "jumpstarting" the education of young girls in their communities. 

 On this occasion, I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for being our partners in giving these girls the opportunity to embark on their educational journeys, and for supporting the “lambs” strategy which will enable the girls’ families to continue to pay for the education of younger daughters.  I want to share with you as well Association NEEED’s expression of appreciation for your support:

Dear partners of GlobalGiving,

First and foremost, I would like to wish you a very good and happy 2014. 

 It has been 17 years since Association NEEED began the project Lambs Support Girls’ Education for village girls in northern Burkina Faso.  Friends of Burkina Faso began supporting this initiative in 2002 and GlobalGiving became a partner in 2007.  Thanks to the support of Friends of Burkina Faso and GlobalGiving, more than 3000 girls have been able to enroll in 178 village primary schools.   The success rate of these girls (girls passing the national exit exam at the end of primary school), has been between 84%-91% (compared with 61%-68% of all primary school students in the region) over the years.  The success of these girls has been a great source of satisfaction for their teachers and parents, and for the Ministry of Education.  Association NEEED wishes to express our very deep appreciation and sincere thank you to Friends of Burkina Faso and GlobalGiving partners for your support of this program.

 The education of girls in Burkina Faso is still in its infancy despite the many efforts of NEEED and our partners.  We will continue to work with the villages where we have previously supported girls’ education to encourage parents to continue using the “lambs” strategy to support the education of their primary school-age daughters.

 In this century of world-wide interconnectedness, the education and training of children is essential to their ability to contribute effectively to the fight against poverty and social exclusion, and for their engagement in the long-term socio-economic development of their communities and our nation.

 It is for this reason that Association NEEED and our partners have initiated a scholarship program for the professional training of young village women who have successfully completed secondary school.  Scholarships are offered each year for teacher, midwifery and nursing training.  The success rate of this project is 100%.  One hundred percent of the 54 girls whose scholarships Friends of Burkina Faso has sponsored during the past four years have either graduated from their training and are employed or are successfully proceeding through their training.

 In view of the success of these girls, Association NEEED would like to obtain your support in order to provide, each year, 40 scholarships for the professional training of girls from rural indigent families who are anxious to enter careers in teaching, nursing and midwifery.  With your support, these girls have the possibility of becoming independent, of contributing to the welfare and education of the next generation, as well as being able to support future generations of girls facing similar challenges.

 Lacine Sawadogo

Project Coordinator, Association NEEED

 To support the continuing education and training of these bright young women, please go to

Many thanks, and our best wishes to you in the New Year.


Ouedraogo Zoennabo with uniform & school supplies
Ouedraogo Zoennabo with uniform & school supplies

"On every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.” — US President Barak Obama 

These are some of the300 girls, in their uniforms with their school bags and lamps, that your generous donations this past year have enabled to go to school.  Their entry into primary school is the beginning of their educational dreams.  Their initial timid and serious appearance will evolve into one of confidence and joy as they progress through school.

Because so many of “our” girls  are successfully completing secondary school, in 2010 NEEED began, with FBF support, to offer a small number of scholarships to the most qualified applicants: for  primary school teaching, nursing, and midwifery training,  or university education.  This year, we offered scholarships to 21 young women, approximately 10% of the qualified women who applied

This holiday season, we have a huge opportunity to support other young, smart and hard-working post secondary girls in northern Burkina Faso eager to become primary school teachers.  Primary school teacher training will qualify them for productive employment and enable the government to increase the number of primary school teachers in underserved villages where parents are desperate to send their children to school.

On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3  you can double your support for primary school teacher training because Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative will MATCH ALL DONATIONS AT 100%!  The details:

  • 100% matching begins December 3rd, 2013, at 12:00:01 PM (noon) ET (9:00:01 PT) and will end December 4th, 2013, at 12:00:00 PM (noon) ET, or when matching funds run out. 
  • Matching is applied at 100% for every $10 up to $1,000 per donor per project 
  • The $250,000 available in matching funds from Microsoft are likely to run out very early (within the first hour) so we strongly encourage you to donate early!
  • Only online donations (credit card or PayPal) are eligible for matching 
  • Donations made by gift card, check, or text-to-give are not eligible 

To donate, go to

Our sincere thanks for making #GivingTuesday a day to give back and create a better world for young village women in Burkina Faso..

Wishing you and your loved ones a most happy and healthy holiday season.

Ouedraogo Fati ready for school
Ouedraogo Fati ready for school
Ouedraogo Bata with her school supplies & lamp
Ouedraogo Bata with her school supplies & lamp
First day of school, Kouni Tampourin
First day of school, Kouni Tampourin
First day of school, Komtanga Bilingue
First day of school, Komtanga Bilingue

As the school year begins, 300 young village girls are grateful for your support enabling them to enter primary school.  Our partner, Association NEEED, is currently distributing school supplies and working with parents to purchase the lambs that will support the girls’ remaining 12 years of primary-secondary education.  We will share photos of this year’s girls as soon as we receive them.

Meanwhile, we have received results of government year end testing of primary school students from last year: 86.4% of the girls supported by this Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education Project successfully passed these exams to complete primary school and enroll in middle school this year compared with 62.4% of all students in the Northern Region.   This achievement level of girls supported by this project has been consistent since our support began in 2002.  It is remarkable for two reasons: 1) the girls (and their parents) have taken seriously the opportunity given them for an education, and 2) it demonstrates the importance of very basic schools supplies in enhancing a child’s ability to maximize her potential.  

In addition, younger girls are increasingly seeing older girls receive scholarships (supported by Friends of Burkina Faso and our partners, including GlobalGiving) to continue their educations beyond secondary school.  This is a huge source of motivation and hope.

The Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education Project costs less in donor support than any education project I have ever seen in terms of cost per child per year of education: a $90 donation provides the initial necessary support allowing a girl to achieve 13 years of education. 

  Thanks again for your generous and continuing support for the education of these girls.   Photos of “our girls” will be forthcoming soon.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 12, is GlobalGiving’s biggest Bonus Day of the year.  GlobalGiving will match all donations to this project by 50% up to a maximum of $1000 per donor.   Only online donations (credit card or PayPal) are eligible for matching. The $90,000 in bonus funds will go fast!   Bonus Day begins at 9am EST, (6am PST). Mark your calendars to donate at 9am EST!! The matching funds go fast, so do it early!

As the school year comes to a close, we are optimistic about year-end notes for the primary school girls we have supported this year.  We anticipate receiving their academic results soon.

And though it is a ways off for these girls, we are increasingly optimistic about their futures beyond secondary school as scholarships become available for post-secondary training.     

As our partner, Association NEEED, responds to the requests of 60 more villages to participate in this project (for young girls to receive school materials and a lamb for their first year of school, after which their parents raise and sell the lamb each year to pay for subsequent years of her education), I am reminded of how the leaders of this project began with the idea of closing the gender gap in public education in the northern region of Burkina Faso by enabling as many young girls as project funds will allow each year to enter school.   This idea has led to an enormous change in village parents’ interest in, and commitment to, ensuring that their daughters receive an education.   Parents whose daughters have participated in the project earlier continue to apply the “lambs” strategy to send younger daughters to school, and girls continue to succeed in school at a rate far beyond that of their peers in the region (89% to 63% last year).  It is clear that NEEED has a simple strategy for girls’ education that works: a modest one-time assistance to young girls, parental commitment to their daughters’ educational success, involvement of teachers and village leaders, and effective oversight by NEEED.

Thank you for your generous and continued support for village girls’ education in Burkina Faso!

There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls. (Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General)

Abibata Ouedraogo
Abibata Ouedraogo

Meet Abibata and Alimata

Meet two of the girls whose educations you have helped launch.  It is hard to get girls to smile at this age.  But after a few years of education, it is a whole different story (as exemplified by the photo of middle school girls).

Abibata, from the village of Koeneba, is doing very well in primary school.  When asked what she likes most she replied: “I like reading and arithmetic.  The teacher and my parents say that if I work hard at school, I will go to middle school.  I want to become a nurse so I can treat people who are sick”.  Abibata’s parents are very grateful to GlobalGiving donors for giving their daughter the opportunity to enter school.   The father explained that NEEED (our partner organization that runs the project) told him that “ ‘all children must go to school regardless of their sex’.  This is why we have sent our daughter to school so that she learns to read and write.  She works hard”.  Abibata’s mother added “I hope my daughter will have a job one day and be able to help us with a little money and food”.

Another high-achieving student is Alimata, from the village of Danaoua, who is being raised by her grandparents.  Both grandparents understand the importance of education for girls and appreciate NEEED’s offer of school materials and a lamb to help their granddaughter enter primary school, after which they will help her raise her lambs and sell them each year to support future years of schooling.   The grandparents are adamant that they do not want their granddaughter be like them.  They want her to get an education and become a teacher or a doctor.

Abibata and Alimata are two of the 300 girls we supported last year, thanks to our GlobalGiving partners.  Nearly 90% of “our girls” passed national exams last year to go on to middle school compared with 63% of their peers in the region.  This is a testament to the structure of this self-help program, the manner in which NEEED engages the commitment of village parents and young girls, and what NEEED provides each girl in her first year (including a lamp to study by at night AND a lamb which enables parents to assume responsibility for the remainder of their daughter’s 12 years of primary, middle and secondary school) – all for $90.

Important: Wednesday, June 12, is GlobalGiving’s biggest Bonus Day this year. GlobalGiving will match all donations to this project by 50% up to a maximum of $1000 per donor.  So mark your calendars.  We’ll post a reminder early June.

As always, our most sincere thanks for your continuing support of these girls!

Alimata with her grandparents
Alimata with her grandparents
School girls in middle school
School girls in middle school

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Organization Information

Friends of Burkina Faso (FBF)

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

Funded Project!

Thanks to 2,060 donors like you, a total of $121,855 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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