WFP Awards Top-performing Girls in Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region

Published on 07 August 2013

The girls at the ceremony after having received their bicycles, helmets and book bags. WFP/Isabel Pike

WFP provides take-home rations of maize and sorghum to 11,000 primary school girls in the Sahel Region of Burkina Faso to keep them in school. This year, nine girls were recognized by the local Government for having the highest marks in the region.

DORI - On 26 July, the government held a ceremony in Dori, the capital of the northernmost region of Burkina Faso, for the handover of prix d’excellence - prizes of excellence.

Amongst the recipients were nine young girls, who had received the best marks on the primary leaving exams in Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region. All of these nine girls had received WFP’s take-home rations – 10 kilograms rations of cereal- normally maize or sorghum- provided at the end of the month to girls with attendance rates above 80 percent in the last two years of primary school. The girls also received WFP school meals, which are provided to all primary school children (about 100,000) in the Sahel region.

“As a region, we have done well this year. Our pass rate has improved and we came eighth out of 13 regions,” said the Regional Director of Education, Charles Yonli, adding that the results were particularly impressive given the difficult conditions of many of the schools, which often have no electricity or running water and take place under temporary straw structures or under trees.

The girls proudly received bicycles, helmets and school bags from WFP in front of Government officials, teachers, UN heads of agencies, ambassadors, students and parents.

“Education is one of our greatest problem areas in the Sahel Region. WFP helps us tackle it through the school feeding programme,” said the Governor of the Sahel Region, Yugo Bourema.

Others were recognized during the ceremony, including teachers whose students had performed the best, the top-performing refugee student, and the top performing student in the region, who was a young boy, who ended his speech by saying: “I promise to keep working so that I continue to be the best.”

Speaking after the ceremony, WFP Burkina Faso Country Director Angelline Rudakubana said: “The success of these nine girls testifies to the power of take-home rations to keep girls in primary school and to allow them to thrive.”