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An initiative to keep girls in school by supporting income-generating activities for their mothers is bearing fruit in Burkina Faso, where poverty and cultural values still deprive many girls of an education, writes *Brahima Ouédraogo.

We often buy notebooks and pens for students. It doesn’t sound like much, but [lacking those things is] all it takes for some children to stop going to school. It’s enough to get a girl married off to a husband.”

Mariam Alou is a member of the the Association of Mothers Who Teach (known by it’s French acronym, AME) in Sebba, in northern Burkina Faso. The association was created by the government to consolidate the success of a 2007 campaign to raise awareness of the importance of girls’ education; there are now at least 300 AME chapters across the country.