Thanks to the generous support of our GlobalGiving partners, 300 6-year old village girls in northern Burkina Faso enrolled in primary school last fall through the "Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso" Project (also known as the Lambs for School Project in which the project supports a girl's first year of school and the purchase of a lamb; and the parents are responsible for raising and selling their daughter's lamb each year to support her remaining 12 years of school).
Village girls receiving our support have no other avenue to education due to the extreme poverty of their families. To quote Jeanne Elisabeth Sanga (who attends the public primary school in the village of Dandambara): "My parents are poor. Without this support from NEEED, I would never have the chance to go to school. My mother is proud of me."
Overall, 98% of the primary school girls supported by the Lambs for School Project passed national exams this year, qualifying them to advance to the next grade. Eighty-six percent of the girls supported by the Lambs for School Project who were in their final year of primary school this year passed national exams,enabling them to enter middle school. Both of these exam results are well above the national average.
The academic success of village girls supported by this project is creating intense pressure by rural populations in the region for the education of young girls. The awakening of the awareness of the value of girls's education has taken off with the recent success of village girls enrolled in school. According to NEEED (the local NGO that runs this project), virtually all rural parents now want their daughters to go to school, a phenomenon unheard of ten years ago. With support from its GlobalGiving partners, NEEED would like to enroll 500 girls in primary school each year in order to better respond to the demands of parents, and to contribute to healthier families and development in the region.
On behalf of the Lambs for School girls, I extend our sincere thanks to all of our GlobalGiving partners for your past, and continuing, support. We appreciate your sharing our girls' needs, and their successes, with your social networks. We welcome your questions about any aspect of the project, and we welcome your ideas about how we can expand our support for it.
“Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process. It is also the most
influential factor in improving child health and reducing infant mortality”. (Women’s Empowerment and Reproductive Health, UN Fund for Population Activities, 2000)