Burkina Faso: Education offers opportunities for 2,000 marginalised girls
13 juin 2021

In the Center-West region, as in other regions of Burkina Faso, socio-cultural constraints limit education for girls. Through the Girls’ Schooling project (SCOLFILLE), Aide et Action and L’Occitane Foundation have partnered to strengthen access and completion of primary school for 2,000 girls.

In partnership with L’Occitane Foundation, Aide et Action is proud to implement the SCOLFILLE project which promotes access to primary school for vulnerable young girls in the provinces of Ziro and Sissili, in the Center-West region of Burkina Faso. Our mission for this project is to support 2,000 marginalised girls – mainly from poor or displaced families, orphans or living with a disability – on the path to academic success.

A difficult context, especially for girls

In Burkina Faso, primary school enrollment indicators have dropped considerably between 2017 and 2020. This decrease can be explained in particular by the socio-political and security situation the country is currently facing which has led to the closure of more than 2,000 schools and caused the internal displacement of more than one million people, among which 50% (585,728) are young people under the age of 14.

In addition, the analysis of socio-cultural realities in the Center-West Region reveals perceptions and practices that are not very favourable to the educational success of girls. For many families, girls’ education is still considered unimportant and the persistence of certain traditional practices such as dowries, kidnappings or gender-based violence does not improve the situation. Also, the lack of consideration of girls’ specific problems inherent to their status within schools constitutes an additional obstacle. These include the issue of inadequate infrastructure and resources for menstrual hygiene management.

Provide an appropriate response

Thanks to our project, school-age girls will be enrolled in 1st grade, girls who are at risk of dropping out of school before the end of the cycle will also be supported, and older girls who are out of school, or drop out of school early, will benefit from an innovative system of accelerated classes. This accelerated learning option will see the modules of the first 3 years of the primary cycle condensed into nine months to allow girls to integrate directly into the 3rd grade.

School-related costs such as annual fees and supplies will be covered by the project and children’s food in schools will be improved through support for the operation of their school canteen (restaurant). In addition, we want to encourage families living in conditions of extreme poverty to increase their income through grants and intermediation with microcredit institutions to set up or develop income-generating activities.

Remove the obstacles to girls’ education

As part of our intervention, approximately 180 teachers will be trained to allow the establishment of specific support courses for girls. Finally, sensitization sessions for communities and girls will be carried out in order to help remove obstacles to their schooling (early marriage and pregnancy, reluctance of the entourage, self-censorship, etc.) and to lift the taboo associated with menstruation (distribution of hygienic protection, rehabilitation or construction of latrines in schools, etc.).

The five-year SCOLFILLE project is part of our international campaign Education for Women Now which promotes various educational projects targeting 3 million marginalized women and girls around the world by 2025.

It will reach precisely 2,810 people in Burkina Faso, including 2,000 girls, 180 teachers and 630 members of community school co-management bodies. In addition, the project aims to support 500 families in precarious economic situations. Thanks to the support from our partners L’Occitane Foundation, our teams have the means to make lasting changes in order to offer new opportunities for the future to Burkinabè girls.

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