The mission of Her Star Scholars is to help girls and young women around the world go to school, to provide enrichment programs, and skills training that will help girls reach their educational potential.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dental Health

Sponsorship does so much more than just send a child to school. It also allows us to help keep the children in the best health possible. Just recently all of our children in Guatemala and the Philippines were taken for their first-ever dental appointments. Some of the girls had seriously problems that the dentist was able to treat for them, and they say their mouths are feeling so much better! Thank you for making this possible!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Schools in Burkina Faso

(Heidi) On my trip to Burkina Faso, I was able to go to several of the schools that our sponsored children attend. Here are my observations about the schools.

The literacy rate is very low, like 25% of adults can actually read and write. There are a lot of reasons for that, the main one being that people are focused on survival, so school is second priority.  Many kids do not go to school, or often, the family can only choose to send one or two to school, as they can't afford to send them all. 

For kids who do go to school, the first option is government schools.  These cost about $10 a year. Sounds reasonable, right? But there are 120 kids per teacher/classroom, and the parents who had their kids in these schools said that the kids often can't even see the blackboard.  There were few to no textbooks, and if your parents are not educated, how would a child learn in that situation? 

The girls we sponsor all go to private schools.  These schools costs about $150/year.  In these classrooms, there are 60-80 kids per teacher.  It still seems like it would be hard to learn, but it is a better situation than the government schools.  The kids go to school from 7am-12pm, then they go home for lunch and a break during the heat of the day.  Then they come back from 3-5 pm.   We visited several of these schools.

Finally, we visited one private school that is a tier above. This school costs $300/year (double the others), but there are only 30 kids in the classrooms. What an amazing difference that made!  You have to apply for this school now for next year, so we are going to try to get at least a few of our girls moved into this school for next year.  The extra $150 seems well worth it to me. 

In school, the kids learn to read and write French.  All of the kids speak their tribal language at home, but French is the official language in schools. This is helpful since there are 230 some tribal languages in the country!

The kids wear uniforms if they have them, but some kids did not have them and it didn't seem to be a big deal.  We pay enough money for uniforms and books for our girls. 

Another thing we noticed in the classrooms was that there was hardly anyone absent. Most had 0 missing, or maybe 1 student. In a place where the kids get sick or have to work or don't have enough food, I found it amazing that they would make sure they got to school no matter what. It shows that education is valued when they are able to pursue it. 

So glad we are helping 19 kids this year. We hope to help 40 next year! 

Homes in Burkina Faso

(Heidi) On my trip, I was able to go to visit many of the homes of our sponsored children.  Here are my observations about that.

Our girls all live in Ouagadougou, in town.  We found that there were essentially two kinds of homes that we went to.  Most were like this... Made of mud bricks and something smooth over it (more mud?), with a courtyard. The homes had 2 or 3 rooms, with very little furniture. If they had any, it was usually beds, and maybe a table against the wall where they stacked pots or other items.  They cook over an open fire in the courtyard. The bathroom is a hole in the ground surrounded by a mud wall outside in the courtyard.  Many had animals such as goats, chickens, or pigs, which they raise and sell.  Almost all the homes we saw have a slate/blackboard on the wall for the kids to do homework on, as paper is scarce.

The other kind of home was a tiny home made of mudbricks.  These were the poorest families we saw.  They had little to no furniture, sleeping on mats on the floor.  During the rainy season, these homes often fall down!  When that happens, the families go stay in a nearby school building until the rains stop and they can re-build their home. They cook over a fire outside the home, and we didn't even see a wall for the bathroom. I think they just go out behind the house. 

Seeing the homes showed me that the families are working very hard just to survive.  Without sponsorship, these girls would probably not be going to school!  So glad Her Star Scholars can help!

New Backpacks!

(Heidi) I was able to visit Burkina Faso last week and met our girls that are sponsored.  I took with me a new backpack filled with goodies for each of the girls. Biba, our liaison, had a huge party for the girls and their parents so we could meet them all. It was great to see them!  We currently have 19 kids sponsored in Burkina Faso, and 18 of them were able to make the party. It was fantastic!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Food and Education

The mission of Her Star Scholars is to send girls to school. However, feeding the children is the second part of our mission. Studies have shown that children who are malnourished can suffer permanent brain damage making it harder for them to learn. Common sense tells us that a child with an empty stomach is going to have a harder time concentrating in school. 

Thank you for caring enough to help us feed these little ones! 
Feeding station for the Nursery Children.
Feeding station for the elementary kids in the Philippines.

Meals in the Philippines usually include meat, vegetables, soup, rice and fruit,

The children in Burkina Faso receive rice and beans to take home to their families.

In Guatemala the children are given a nourishing meal at the end of the school day. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just Love Coffee

You can now buy your coffee and send children to school at the same time. Her Star Scholars has teamed up with Just Love Coffee to raise funds for our scholarship program.

If you go to, a large percentage of every purchase is passed on to Her Star Scholars. They have coffees from around the world, fair trade, and eco-friendly.

Just Love Coffee

Monday, October 22, 2012

Universal Children's Day

Universal Children's Day was celebrated on October 19th and 20th this year.

Each of the girls dresses in a costume to represent a different country in a parade through the local community and in performances at the school. 
(The costumes were donated to the school and do not come out of the sponsorships.)