Nonprofit promotes improved West African education
PLATTSBURGH — A newly formed nonprofit strives to promote better access to education in Burkina Faso in West Africa, where the literacy rate is under 30 percent.
The Program for African Growth through Education, or PAGE Inc., will give a PowerPoint presentation at 6.30 p.m. today in the Cardinal Lounge at SUNY Plattsburgh about a recent trip by members to Burkina Faso, Niger and the Ivory Coast.
Born and raised in Burkina Faso, Jean Ouédraogo, who chairs the Department of Modern Languages and Culture at SUNY Plattsburgh, is president of PAGE.
Last year, PAGE gave a grant to a group of students from West Africa who visited Plattsburgh in fall 2012 through SUNY Plattsburgh’s Youth Leadership Program with Francophone Africa, charging them with using the funds to improve education when they returned home.
Traveling to West Africa with Ouédraogo were SUNY Plattsburgh professor Robert Ackland and Director of Graduate Admissions Marguerite Adelman, who are both PAGE Board members.
While there, they visited the students who had come to Plattsburgh.
The students, Ouédraogo said, had taken several actions to promote their education, such as improving the schools’ latrine systems, creating a computer club and cleaning up and recycling the plastic bags.
Tonight’s event is free and open to the public.
PAGE is recruiting new members. For information, call 566-9208. A website is coming soon.
— By Contributing Writer Darina Naidu