As the new school year begins, your generous support has enabled the enrollment of another 300 young village girls in northern Burkina Faso into government village primary schools. Beginning in 2003, when the first girls supported
by this project completed primary school, girls supported by this project have consistently outperformed all students in the region on exit exams from primary school by an average of 15 percentage points.
These girls are enrolling in middle and secondary school in greater numbers each year as well. We are extremely grateful to two donors who have offered a limited number of scholarships for girls in this project who successfully complete secondary school. In 2010, donations from these partners provided scholarships to: 9 girls for primary school teacher training, 2 girls for nursing training, 1 girl for midwifery training, and 1 girl who is studying law at the University of Ouagadougou; and in 2011: 3 girls in primary school teacher training, 3 girls in nursing training, 1 girl in midwifery training, and 1 girl who is studying medicine at the University of Ouagadougou. All of these girls are from poor rural farming families and some have lost one or both parents.
Given the strong academic success of the village girls we support and the exceptional response of their parents who depend upon our partnership only for their daughters’ first year of school, we are re-naming the project Lambs Support Village Girls’ Education. This new title reflects more clearly the structure of this project: your donations help purchase a girl’s first year school materials and her first lamb. Parents raise and sell their lambs, and buy school materials and new lambs, each year to support their daughters’ remaining 12 years of schooling.
Our original goal of enrolling 900 girls has been surpassed. However, the demand and the positive response of parents and village leaders has been phenomenal. In order to continue to offer village girls in this region a chance at an education and all that this implies in terms of choices in their lives, we are asking you – their partners – to continue to give them that opportunity to enter school. They and their parents will do the rest!
In that spirit, I would like to call your attention to GlobalGiving’s final Bonus Day of the year this Wednesday October 19. Online donations made to this project on Wednesday will be matched by 30% up to $1000 per donor. And if we raise the most funds, or have the most individual donors, the Lambs Support Girls’ Education project will receive an additional $1000.
On behalf of the exceptional young village girls in northern Burkina Faso, our sincere gratitude to all of you, our partners in this endeavor.