“There is a deep longing among people in the West to connect with something bigger — with community and spirit.”
Wisdom Spring, Inc. is a non-profit organization, which uplifts, honors and preserves the wisdom of indigenous cultures through programs of education, travel, cultural, community and scientific exchange.
Wisdom Spring, Inc. aims to implement new ideas, to support the dreams of young people and to help form healthy communities around the world. Since its inception, Wisdom Spring has been working diligently to provide various villages in West Africa with drinking water and to provide resources for education through its various programs including Art for Africa and Walking for Water.
Currently in Africa, the rate of education is very low and Burkina Faso is among the lowest, with only about 25% of its people receiving any formal education. This is even less so in remote villages where the rate is often 2-3%. In theory, education is free in Burkina. But in fact, even the public schools require a parental contribution to enroll each child, and this, along with the cost of books and other school needs, is more than many families can afford.
Once enrolled, there are many obstacles to succeeding in school. Some children are many miles from the nearest school, and have to walk. The school dues must be paid regularly. When food is scarce, it is hard to concentrate on the lessons with an empty stomach. Classrooms are often quite overcrowded (sometimes first grade has over 100 students with only one teacher). Finally, the quality of teachers and administrators often suffers, particularly in rural areas.
Also, from first grade to 13th (Burkina has 13 grades, not 12) a student who is lucky enough to attend school will have to pass three (3) required tests, at the end of 6th, 10th and 13th grade. Each student is required to pass these three tests to continue. If they fail, they can only repeat the test one more time at the end of the following school year. But if they fail again, then they are out, with no further access to education. These tests systems, along with the lack of financial means and lack of schools in some areas, have left many children with few options and little hope.
With a relatively small amount of money by Western standards you can make a tremendous difference, bringing education to many. Wisdom Spring, Inc. has done a tremendous job of engaging motivated families and children into this successful program.