There is a severe lack of skills-based, vocational training available in Gourcy, which effectively renders even the tiny minority who complete their education unemployable, as there are very few employment opportunities available for those who have not learned a locally viable trade.

At Bethel Secondary school we have asked students, teachers and parents the skills they feel are most useful to learn in order to give children the best chance of gaining employment or setting up their own businesses.  From this we are planning to run three vocational and business skills training projects:

woodlessconstructionburkina1)  Development Workshop, is an international charity who work with the world’s poorest communities, helping them to build local capacity and develop sustainable income generation opportunities. Together with DW, we plan to develop a Vocational Training and Craft Centre at Bethel, operated and partially financed by a co-operative of resident artisans, skilled in crafts and trades that are economically viable in the local area as well as environmentally sustainable.  These will include: Woodless construction, Textile making, Soap making and Ceramics.

Vocational skills courses will run for a 12 week period for up to 100 students each academic year and will include training in starting up and running a commercial enterprise. We will also offer support in gaining loans for buying material and equipment.

£545 will fund a student to learn woodless construction skills; giving them a means to gain employment and the tools to lift themselves and their family out of poverty. To make an donation, please click here


14797175023_dc9c0072bd_z2) Agricultural skills are crucial in a country where agricultural produce is 35% of the GDP.  The challenges are due to a lack of water supply, harsh environment and constant droughts.  In partnership with other organisations we are planning an Agricultural skills project that gives students the skills to reverse desertification and to make even the most arid lands fruitful.  Starting with a pilot project on the land at Bethel School, we will then evaluate in 2016, looking at the success and learnings related to number of students involved, productivity, skills learnt and potential income generated.   The beneficiaries of our Food for Thought programme have volunteered to be involved in the crop production due to a wish to ‘give something back’ and the additional benefit of the project will be that crops grown can be used to provide the meals for the most vulnerable students.

£140 will fund a student to learn agricultural skills; giving them a means to gain employment and the tools to lift themselves and their family out of poverty. To make an donation, please click here


3) Enterprise skills are essential to help students create a sustainable income supply if looking to set up their own business.  In partnership with UCL’s Citrus Saturday project, we are running training sessions at the school, with the aim of disseminating learning throughout the students at Bethel Secondary but also throughout AEAD’s other schools in Burkina Faso – helping to support the growth of the next generation of entrepreneurs.