POSTED June 15, 2023
A new school has a big impact
Students like Balkissa have a new appreciation for education.
By Olivia Bangre, communications manager, Burkina Faso
The wide smile and sparkle in Balkissa’s eyes after coming home from a great day at school were more than her mother Zoungrana had ever hoped. Here in Burkina Faso, where three million people need humanitarian assistance, access to a safe, quality education has become highly uncertain for many.
But there are feelings of hope in Méguet, a rural community in the central part of the country. This past November, the first students began attending a new, well-equipped early learning education centre.
“The new school is truly a jewel,” Zoungrana says. “When my child comes home, she always tells me what she has learned and is always eager to go back the next day. This has brought us much closer together.”
Before Children Believe came alongside the community leaders to work toward solutions, the local facilities were extremely outdated and inadequate. Children didn’t start school until age seven at the earliest, while teachers had little proper training, and the facilities and equipment were far below standard.
Not so, now, for the 22 girls and 20 boys who attend. And that gender balance is no accident.
“All measures are taken to allow all children, without distinction, to have the same privileges and access to quality education,”
– Sawadogo Souleymane, school director
Balkissa says she would like to be a nurse one day, adding that she enjoys going to school to learn and play in the school’s playground. She is just one example in one community of hundreds of children who have benefitted from new facilities, improved teacher training, and many other educational innovations that make this work a Centre of Excellence for Children Believe in Burkina Faso.
Funds for the work came through a partner agency, ChildFund Korea, while Children Believe provided learning materials and school supplies. The school has three classrooms, desks, chairs, a TV, an office with a computer, and a borehole for water and washrooms. The modern facility offers a playground and is powered by solar energy.
Zoungrana, a fruit seller with a husband and three children, says the school has helped not only her family but many others in the community.
“We mothers are very pleased that the project has placed a strong emphasis on involving fathers in the care and education of children through early childhood development awareness and training sessions for parents,” she says. “We notice a change in the children’s behavior. My daughter washes her hands regularly and especially before each meal, takes pleasure in washing herself and wearing clean clothes, and observes the rules of politeness and good manners.”
Something parents in both Canada and Burkina Faso could certainly agree on.
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE:
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
About ChildFund Alliance:
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.