Construction of the fence of the Bokin girls’ boarding school (Burkina Faso)
- Focus: Education & Women’s Empowerment
- Location: Bokin (Burkina Faso)
- Start date: Begining 2020 – End 2022
- Club / Union : Soroptimist Club of Béthune (France)
- Number of women/girls this project reached/will reach: 34
To create a safe environment in the “Déborah” girls boarding accommodation currently comprising a dormitory block and study area, which has housed 34 girls since the beginning of the school year 2017-18. There is also a sanitary block nearing completion.
The project is the natural follow-on from the construction of the girls’ accommodation block: having built the first dormitory block and study area (2014-2017) followed by the permanent sanitary block (2018-2019), it is now necessary to secure the area and ensure the girls’ safety as quickly as possible by the construction of a perimeter wall and gate.
This objective, if financed by the fundraising efforts of Béthune SI Club, would take 3 years to be implemented (2020-2022). Hence “Project Matching”, which, thanks to the financial assistance of other SI Clubs, would enable the girls to be provided with a safe environment much sooner (2020 or 2021).
The fence forms an integral part of an overall project initially assigned to the long-term 2011-2015 Soroptimist International project: “Autonomisation of women and girls through education and leadership” and to the 2014-2016 French Union project: “A voice for Sustainable Education”, by improving the living conditions of these girls, their educational environment, as well as helping in the fight against violence inflicted on them. These themes remain just as topical in 2019…
The issue first raised in 2013, was that the majority of girls attending school in Bokin, lived too far away to attend daily and therefore needed to be housed in the local vicinity. This situation had led to exploitation by their landlords and the girls often fell victim to violence, in particular sexual.
To protect these young rural girls from harm, enabling them to be schooled in a safe environment, SI Club Béthune decided to support the Talitha Koumi (which means “Young Girl, stand up!”) association in its project to build boarding facilities for the Bokin girls.
The project will benefit the girls currently attending the school and will also encourage other girls to pursue their studies. As it stands, in Burkina Faso, just 5 girls from the outlying rural areas out of 100 manage to finish the secondary cycle of their schooling.
Procedures to realise the project
Since 2013, the payments made by the SI Club Béthune, of approx €5000 pa, were largely made possible due to its annual fundraising event devoted to feminine creativity, “Female Talent”. They have been supplemented on several occasions through the SIE Actions Funds. In 2018, thanks to one of our members, their employer – the international company Henkel – also agreed to make a significant gift within the framework of its patronage. To continue and finish the work as quickly as possible, SI Club Béthune is still looking for partners, which is why it is currently drawing up a “Project Matching” file.
The person in charge of the activities is the current SI Club Béthune president.
The project will be implemented at Bokin (Burkina Faso).
The overall project comprises 4 phases. The first phase, currently underway, comprises 6 stages:
- a dormitory block with separate study area. It is entirely finished and accommodates 34 girls,
- a sanitary block, nearing completion,
- the perimeter fence (subject of the present “Project Matching”),
- a store – kitchen and bedroom: to be built,
- a security hut: to be built,
- a road and other infrastructure: to be built.
In due course, three additional phases are expected, which would make it possible to quadruple the boarding capacity.
This would give many more girls in the outlying regions the opportunity to access education in a safe environment, and to increase the number able to finish the secondary cycle of their schooling.
The completion of the work will be undertaken by the company ETIG, project managed by our local partner: Talitha Koumi association.
A partnership agreement has been signed between SI Club Béthune on the one hand, and the 2 following not-for-profit associations: “Terre Verte”, our financial intermediary who is authorized to issue tax receipts to the donors, and Talitha Koumi (whose name means “Young girl, stand up!”) who is overseeing the project. Ouagadougou Doyen SI Club is supporting SI Béthune for logistical purposes where necessary.
Furthermore, members of Béthune SI Club have visited the site on several occasions, at their own expense.
After the evaluation and tendering phases, work commenced in 2014, on a site provided by the municipality of Bokin.
Dormitory furnishings together with the solar panels were financed by our partner Terre Verte. SI Club Béthune will be responsible for communication.
Evaluation – Follow-up
The project manager partner of SI Club Béthune, Talitha Koumi association, provides the Club with regularly updates with photographs making it possible to evaluate the progress of the work.
Talitha Koumi will continue to do this for the fence, to enable Béthune SI Club to monitor the work.
With regards to the financing of the construction of the fence, SI Club Béthune will, thanks to the proceeds of its events, see the work through to completion.
Once the fence is finished, SI Club Béthune will provide, if possible, further financial assistance until completion of the first phase.
Thank you to the following Clubs/Unions:
Club Ouagadougou Doyen (Burkina Faso)