According to UNESCO in 2018, more than 4 out of 10 girls of lower secondary school age (post-primary) are not in school in Burkina Faso. In addition to accessibility problems, the education system faces difficulties not only to keep children in school but also to enable them to complete the school cycle: the completion rate of lower secondary was 39% in 2019 and the success rate for the end-of-cycle exam: first cycle study certificate (BEPC) was estimated at 43.1%, including 38.5% for girls in 2018.

A study carried out by the Ministry of Education in 2019 evokes as the main obstacles to girls' access, retention and success in school:

  • Sociocultural factors such as the preference for schooling for boys (at least 1 in 10 Burkinabè thinks that the education of boys should be given priority), child marriage, domestic overload of children ...
  • Economic factors as the costs associated with schooling children in college are often 3 to 5 times higher than in primary school, their schooling involves sacrifices to be made and the choice is generally made to the detriment of the girl.

Supported project

In 2020-2021, the L'OCCITANE Foundation supports UNICEF's* project to improve girls' access to post-primary education in Burkina Faso's Centre-West region. In order to be effective, the project combines several actions ranging from support measures designed to encourage parents to send their children to school, to specific educational support and community awareness.

This means that the project includes the provision of school grants (to cover the cost of boarding students, schooling and the canteen), the establishment of tutoring clubs, media campaigns to raise communities and parents awareness of girls' education, and educational support for girls experiencing difficulty. In addition, the project makes bicycles available to 98% of girls to make school easier to get to and thus reduce the risk of insecurity. 

Some figures

This project aims to support a class of 450 girls from year 7 to year 10 (4 years) in the Center-West region of Burkina Faso. The BEPC success rate of young girls supported in year 10 was 43% against a national average of 24% and a regional average of 22%.

Budget 100,000 euros

Result 43% BEPC success rate


Project supported since 2017

UNICEF's project to promote girls' education has been supported by the L'OCCITANE Foundation since 2017. Its main objective is to promote access, attendance and completion of the secondary school cycle (6th to 9th grade) for girls. The first year of the project allowed 450 girls to enrol and attend 6th grade classes. The success rate for the BEPC (Brevet d’Etudes du Premier Cycle) of girls supported was almost double that of girls in the Center-West region and of all girls in the country (in 2020-2021).


More information


Head of the El Bethel Residential Centre

"Those attending the El Bethel Residential Centre benefit from effective supervision. The rules of procedure, which are scrupulously followed, mean that girls avoid straying from the path, helping to avoid pregnancies as a result.  The presence of girls at the centre improves their chances of staying in school. Girls have more time to study and their academic results are excellent; they receive an education in civics that helps them to approach life in society with more confidence and conviction; they really flourish"  



Kaboré Nafissatou CEG de Koudougou 


« My parents are poor. Our financial situation is difficult. I am lucky to go to school because of the support from UNICEF. If it wasn't for this support, I might be doing small business to support my parents. I am aware that I have to work very hard to pass the BEPC and hope to get the scholarship to be sure to continue my studies. I am very grateful to UNICEF ». 


Directrice du CEG de Léo Kutian


« Support for schooling is very helpful for large families because it reduces their parental burdens. As for the bicycles, some girls testify that it allows them to be on time for school; the support courses reinforce their understanding and their ability to do their homework. »


*UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.