How is our Burkina Faso country director supporting girls?

POSTED April 25, 2019

How is our Burkina Faso country director supporting girls?

A public mentorship program encourages leadership skills

By Patrice Zongo, communications manager, Burkina Faso

Country director Christelle with mentees

Helping women and girls realize their rights and potential has become a priority for the government of Burkina Faso, as it has been for Christian Children’s Fund of Canada and the global community working to achieve 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality.

Support is needed in Burkina Faso where the last census revealed women account for 52 percent of the population, yet often aren’t given the equal place they deserve in society.

So a consortium of youth organizations launched a national Female Leadership event to encourage girls to reach for their dreams.

“This initiative is an example of true [support] for young women to develop leadership (skills),” explained Fayçal Traoré, the Chairman of the campaign endorsed by Sika Kaboré, the first Lady of Burkina Faso.

The idea is to hand-pick successful women to support girls. This year, the program attracted 60 mentees, chosen from 700 applicants.

And, Christelle Kalhoulé (above), our country director in Burkina Faso, was chosen to mentor four girls, including Alexandrine living in Canada. The women, who range in age from 16 to 29, will communicate with their mentor in person and virtually, since organizers opened up the opportunity to West Africans living abroad.

Our organizational mandate aligns perfectly with the initiative, and Christelle is honoured to have another way to support female leadership in Burkina. “It was a surprise and a real honour for me to realize what I am doing is appreciated,” she said. “This is encouraging.”

Christelle believes success stems from small, concrete experiences. She affirms you have to take many steps toward meeting your goals, using patience, focus and perseverance.

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