Girls’ access to school, a lever for economic and social development

Education for all, a fight that remains to be won

Every day, nearly 33,000 (1) young adolescent girls are forced brides, which leads to an end to schooling and a life expectancy of less than 5 years for 50% of children born to an illiterate mother. For the Raoul Follereau Foundation, committed to the excluded, it is therefore essential to fight against this scourge.

In 2019, 12 school and training center projects were funded by the Raoul Follereau Foundation for a total budget of € 145,000. It is within this framework that the “Providence center” created in 2003, in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire, welcomes 170 young girls, 86 of whom are in apprenticeship.

The Providence center: a societal and economic journey

The originality of the center is to offer a course in three stages. This opens with a period of 6 months to 2 years where young girls admitted receive basic training : literacy, cooking, sports activities or even expression and creation (singing, dancing, drawing, etc.). With the aim of making them aware of their dignity as women.

At the end of this first step, they complete a three-month orientation course to choose one of the 3 courses offered ; braid, hairstyle or sewing, a choice that led them to four years of apprenticeship in partner centers. Four years which end with the delivery of the equipment necessary to launch their activity. “A year of training in sewing for a young Ivorian girl costs 75 €”, specifies Anne-Cécile Couette, responsible for education projects.

Building a path for the future for women who are deprived of it

To decrease these inequalities in the education of young girls, the Raoul Follereau Foundation is launching a fundraising campaign and calls for generosity to help them in their fight. Supporting this cause, we tell the foundation, is to be associated with the need for their to discover what the dignity of women is, their place in society and their role in the economic development of developing countries. This is why the Raoul Follereau Foundation invites all people of good will to “To help chart a path for the future for these young girls and other children deprived of education”.


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