Our objective is to better the lives of girls in Western Africa through education.
"Tua res agitur" - "It's your cause"
According to this Latin principle, we want to encourage girls to take more responsibility for their own lives.
The bulk of our projects are in Burkina Faso, which was ranked 185 out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index in 2016.1 Of the more than 20 million inhabitants, nearly half live below the international poverty line.2
Despite years of peace, Burkina Faso is poor in natural resources and has attracted relatively small amounts of international investment, which, in turn, has made poverty endemic and pervasive.
Fees, such as school materials and uniforms, act as a barrier for families trying to send their children to school. Other issues, including school proximity, teacher availability, and curriculum quality also deter families and students from investing in education. As a result, while 87 percent of children enrol in primary school, each cohort reports a 30 percent dropout rate.3 On average, from primary to higher education, students complete less than eight years of schooling.4
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty as customary divisions of labor assign them domestic tasks, such as childcare and laborious housework, which are both necessary, and both unpaid.
"These persistent social institutions and cultural norms restrict the economic and social role of girls and women in most countries around the world." -OECD, 20127
Many families are unable to send all of their children to school. When faced with a choice, girls' education is most often not prioritized. Statistics show only 62.8% of girls finish primary school and less than half of those female students attend lower secondary school.8 In 2011, the Ministry of Education in Burkina Faso found that while 21% of boys in a school cohort finish lower secondary school, only 14.3% of girls do.9 Generations of girls are being consistently undereducated and undertrained, confining them to unsafe and stagnant work in the informal sector.10
Yet, educated women are less likely to contract HIV, they enjoy later marriages and pregnancies, have fewer and healthier children, are more likely to protect themselves and their children from illegal practices while promoting their education.11
Additionally, education allows young women to become more active members of their society. Studies found that women with at least a basic education are less likely to be extremely poor. Providing girls with one extra year of schooling beyond the average can boost their eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent; and with one extra year of secondary school, that figure increases to 15 to 25 percent.12
Girls and boys need education. However, girls in Burkina Faso, and all over the world, face significantly more external pressure to leave school and care for their families. They encounter numerous barriers during their pursuit of education.
By supporting and furthering girls' education in Burkina Faso, we are hoping to create lasting generational and sustainable change.