The Yelemani Training Center welcomes numerous young girls from Bobo Dioulasso who, due to challenges, have had to halt their studies. This stands as just one of the various forms of gender discrimination faced by them and other women in Burkina Faso. It’s distressing to witness how, at times, families can’t afford to send girls to school because they’re needed more at home, or how educational opportunities are often reserved for their brothers instead. Even worse, some are forced to leave school and marry, even when they’re not even 13 years old.
Here at the center, these girls learn the skills of cooking and baking, but it goes beyond that. They engage in French lessons, personal hygiene, mathematics, and they also learn money management. They’re constructing a strong educational and professional foundation for their future, even without the traditional schooling path. Regardless of their origins, past experiences, or starting knowledge levels, each girl in the classroom dedicates herself with passion and determination. Thanks to the great educators, they’re equipped with the tools to become socially and economically empowered, capable of tackling life’s challenges head-on.
For some of the girls who are sheltered in the ‘Havre du Bon Pasteur’, enrolling in these training courses becomes a means of overcoming the traumas of violence and abuse. Through the protection and education provided by the community, they’re able to break free from their difficult circumstances and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Looking ahead, the Good Shepherd program’s aim in Burkina Faso – supported by GSIF – is to involve over 1,700 girls, women, and children in the coming years, granting them access to improved educational and professional opportunities.