Diakonia - People change the world
Through the training programme of ATTOUS, Ajarata is now able to work, earn a living and support her family, something that was unthinkable just a few years ago. Photo: Philip Kawode Akangbo

Burkina Faso: Ajarata - a role model for young girls

Today, Ajarata in Burkina Faso is the head of the painting section at a motorcycle plant. Thanks to the vocational training from ATTOUS, she is financially independent and a role model for young girls.


Unable to go to school

21 year old Ajarata Zida is the third child of seven. When she had obtained her primary school certificate, her parents were unable to pay for her future education. Instead, she stayed at home and helped cleaning the house and taking care of her little brothers and sisters.

Education in Burkina Faso: In Burkina Faso, barely 20 percent of the students who complete primary school reach the class of 6th grade and of them only 11 percent reach the 10th year of school. Also, there is currently a mismatch between what educational programs supply and what the professional market demands.

Heard of ATTOUS's training center

Her father, however, did not give up. He kept looking for ways to offer Ajarata more schooling and hopefully also an occupation. He heard of CFIAM - Centre de Formation et d’Initiation aux Métier - a training center created by the Diakonia partner organization ATTOUS - which provides vocational training to girls and women in non-traditional jobs, and together they made a payment plan for Ajarata’s training. CFIAM simply let her father pay at his own pace and did not impose an amount or a period of payment.

ATTOUS in Burkina Faso is a national NGO working to ensure the full participation of women in the labor market, specifically in occupations traditionally exercised by men. Thanks to the cooperation with Diakonia 278 young women have been trained so far. The last three years, an average of 40 girls have been trained by the center yearly.

From internship to head position

The training started in 2007 and was finished in 2010 when Ajarata proudly received her Certificate of Professional Qualification. Later on, she also worked in a garage as an intern. One day, the monitoring department for beneficiary graduates at ATTOUS found another internship for her in a motorcycle assembly plant. This is where she still works, but today she is the head of the painting section.

Wishes to progress further

"I can say that I am currently very relieved because in terms of money I manage to live with what I earn. I am rather well paid, and this allows me today to be financially independent and to help my family. My wish is to progress and always deserve the trust of my superiors who believed in me by appointing me Head of the painting section, despite that I am a girl," says Ajarata.