In Molly Morrison’s host village, there are several primary schools for children, but there is nowhere for adult women to become educated. To help women to further their education, she partnered with a local library to provide classes for women in Jula, a widely spoken local language in the area. 38 women in the village who were interested in learning to read and write in Jula were invited to attend classes during the 10 week program. Each participant in the literacy program was encouraged to bring one child who was under the age of enrollment at the primary school. If the women wanted to bring additional children, they could do so if they paid a small enrollment fee.
The program for the young children was particularly successful and we eventually needed to accept a maximum of 50 child per day. The children sang songs, did read-aloud sessions, played with blocks and colored in order to help them develop better motor skills and to begin learning French before entering primary school which is taught only in French and not in local languages. While the children were learning, the women were engaging in literacy classes. The program reached 38 women and we had over 200 children enrolled, though not all of the children were able to participate every day (we operated on a first come, first served basis). All of the participating women and one child per woman received a year membership to the library where books in local languages as well as French will be available for them to continue their education. The books provide information on health topics, hygiene and also offer local stories and folklore. Early childhood education programs will continue at the library which will be financed by fees from the children’s families and will not require outside funding. The next Jula class for adults will be hosted by the library and will be financed by the Burkinabe national government during hot season. The library is looking into hosting sessions on other local languages as well.