Grant award and more news!

BFGSF scholars with their bikes

Grant: BFGSF is pleased to announce we have won a grant from Friends of Burkina Faso! This support enables the purchase of bikes for students this school year, along with resources for bike maintenance and repair.

Bicycles are the bridge to education for girls who may live in rural areas far from school. With household chores, girls cannot spend hours walking 12 miles each way to school. Bikes equal access to education.

Twitter:  We’re now on Twitter! Connect with us @_BFGSF !

Peace Corps Partnership: We’re happy to announce a new collaboration with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso! Peace Corps volunteers will be third party stewards to work with our program on the ground! We are thrilled with this new positive and productive way to promote girls’ education.

Excerpt from the Friends of Burkina Faso: Nicholas Kristoff writes: “Over time, I’ve concluded that the greatest unexploited resource in poor countries isn’t oil or gold; it’s people and that education may be the single best way to help people help themselves. […] I’d suggest a moment to raise a glass and celebrate those who spread the transformative gift of education.”

I’d like to urge friends not only to toast those who are actively involved in promoting education, but to help create educational opportunities for girls in Burkina Faso. Providing financial support on behalf of one or both of FBF-sponsored scholarship programs is an excellent way to enable young women to gain an education! Studies show that women who are educated gain control over their lives–benefiting not only themselves, but their families and their communities at large.

Our partner, recently affiliated with FBF Projects is the Burkina Faso Girls Scholarship Fund (a.k.a. BFGSF). This program was developed in collaboration with Hermann Yelkouny, the Director of Help for the Future, a Burkinbè NGO. (Note, one co-founder served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Titao, Burkina Faso in 1999-2002). The primary focus of BFGSF is to offer need-based scholarships to girls living in the rural areas of Gonsin, enabling them to advance their education in neighboring Yako where there is a secondary school.

It is noteworthy that the objectives of BFGSF are consistent with the goals of a U.S. government-wide initiative launched last March by the President and First Lady, called Let Girls Learn. Principal objectives of Let Girls Learn is to address the challenges preventing young girls from attending and completing school which will put them in a position to realize their potential as adults. The initiative “places particular emphasis on community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education”. As part of this U.S. government’s effort, the Peace Corps is developing programs, including one in Burkina Faso, that “will empower local leaders to put lasting solutions in place.”

Keep in mind: when a girl in Burkina Faso receives an education, she marries later, has fewer children, earns more income, and is better able to invest in her children’s health and education. An educated woman gains control of her own life. She also is better able to contribute to the development of villages in Burkina Faso and the nation as a whole. Importantly, education empowers the next generation to reach its potential.