Tag: Burkina Faso

Obamas Launch “Let Girls Learn” Education Initiative

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama put their weight behind Let Girls Learn on Tuesday, an initiative to help girls around the world attend secondary school and complete their education.

“Let Girls Learn” began as a United States Agency for International Development effort last summer, and featured a video with celebrities like Alicia Keys and Shonda Rhimes. The goal was “to provide the public with meaningful ways to help all girls to get a quality education,” building on past work on girls’ education and empowerment around the world. Now, the Obama administration will enhance existing programs and expand efforts across the government and through partnerships with the private sector.

“A good education can lift you from the most humble circumstances into a life you never could have imagined,” the first lady said Tuesday when she and the president announced the plan. “I see myself in these girls. I see our daughters in these girls,” she said. “I want to use my time and platform as first lady and beyond to make a real impact.”

According to a FLOTUS tweet, women and girls make up 70 percent of those living in extreme poverty around the world, a fact that education can help change. Approximately 62 million girls around the world are not in school, explains a fact sheet published Tuesday by the White House, with half that number representing adolescent girls.

“These girls have diminished economic opportunities and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early and forced marriage, and other forms of violence,” the fact sheet says. “Yet when a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family, and improve the quality of life for herself, her family and her community. In addition, girls’ attendance in secondary school is correlated with later marriage, later childbearing, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, lower birth rates, and lower rates of HIV/AIDS.”

imagesThe first lady will work with the Peace Corps to develop community-based solutions and recruit and train volunteers. During the first year of the program, the Peace Corps will implement Let Girls Learn in 11 countries—Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo, and Uganda—and will expand to additional countries the following year.

The initiative will include programs focused on education, empowerment and leadership, health and nutrition, preventing gender-based violence, and preventing child, early and forced marriage.

Partnerships with the private sector include commitments from the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, CARE, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., PBS Learning Media and the U.N. Foundation’s Girl Up campaign.

To join the efforts please go to letgirlslearn.peacecorps.gov

article by Stav Ziv via newsweek.com

Singer Akon Aims to Bring Electricity to 1 Million Homes in Africa Through “Akon Lighting Africa” Initiative

Singer Akon. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Singer Akon has launched an ambitious endeavor that aims to improve the lives of over one million people in Africa.  His new initiative, “Akon Lighting Africa”, hopes to bring electricity to one million households by the end of 2014 to help promote energy sustainability and sufficiency throughout the continent.  “The lack of electricity is currently a major problem in Africa,” reads the website for the campaign. “A significant number of households in rural areas and even urban cities do not have access to electricity. This is a real obstacle to Africa’s Sustainable Development.”

Akon, who is Senegalese-American, has partnered with local charities and corporations to aid in the efforts of the campaign by addressing Africa’s energy issue and installing solar equipment in households.  The “Right Now” singer will travel and meet with leaders in nine countries in nine days to discuss the project including Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast.

Learn more about Akon Lighting Africa here.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

African Students Create Anti-Malaria Soap, Win Business Competition

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Moctar Dembele (pictured right) and Gerard Niyondiko (pictured) have won the Global Science Venture (GSVC) competition for creating an anti-malaria repellent soap, reports CP-Africa.  Burkina Faso native Dembele and Burundi native Niyondiko created Faso Soap from different herbs, including karate citronella. According to the product profile:

In many countries of tropical Africa, malaria is the leading cause of death for the population. It represents 30-40% of hospital admissions and up to 40% of public health expenditure.

Solution:  Production and marketing of soap “mosquito,” based on shea butter and enriched with essential oils of lemongrass and concern, to protect its users from malaria.

Impact:  Reduction massive number of people affected by malaria, especially among the poorest and basic hygiene.

According to Niyondiko, the soap will initially be available in African countries hit hardest by malaria. “The soap will be available first here, and then given to NGO.”

Watch the Faso Soap GSVC pitch below:

 

“We want a simple solution, because every one uses soaps, even in the very poor communities,” Dembélé added.

Dembele and Niyondiko have not only helped Africa with their creation, they’ve also made history.

They are also the first non-Americans to win the GSVC, which challenges students across the world to create their own business plans for social ventures. The grand prize is $25,000.

According to the World Health Organization, the African continent accounts for 85 percent of malaria cases and 90 percent of malaria deaths worldwide. Eighty-five percent of those deaths occur in children under 5 years old.

article by Hannington Dia via newsone.com

Ghana’s Grace Amey-Obeng Makes Millions Fighting Skin Bleaching

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Ghana’s Grace Amey-Obeng, one of West Africa’s most successful businesswomen, made her fortune promoting products which emphasised the beauty of the black skin, at a time when many of her competitors were selling dangerous skin-bleaching formulas.

The business empire she started a quarter of a century ago with around $100 (£63) now has an annual turnover of between $8m and $10m. Her FC Group of Companies – which includes a beauty clinic, a firm that supplies salon equipment and cosmetics, and a college – has eight branches in Ghana and exports to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ivory Coast, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Mrs Amey-Obeng has won dozens of accolades and industry awards for her skincare beauty products and marketing. But one of the things that make her especially proud is her FC Beauty College which, since its opening in 1999, has trained more than 5,000 young people, mostly women.

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