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Burkina Faso: The Story of Hadiatou Diallo

Highest marks

Hadiatou Diallo, 13 years old, was one of nine girls to receive a bicycle from WFP at a Government ceremony held on the 26 July in Dori, the capital of Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region. The girls, all of whom had received WFP school meals and take-home rations, received the highest marks on the primary school leaving exams.


Hadiatou lives in the village of Yakouta, 12 kilometres from the town of Dori. Hadiatou’s primary leaving exam results are particularly impressive since only 48 percent of boys and even fewer girls (42 percent) finish primary school in this region.

Hadiatou's family

Hadiatou with her parents, sisters and young brother. Her family are pastoralists - buying, raising and selling cows, goats and sheep. In her last two years of school, Hadiatou received  ten kilogram rations of sorghum or maize from WFP each month. She shared this food with her family.

Hadiatou with her books

Hadiatou with her school books. She says that she studies before she goes to school and that she hopes to be a nurse when she is older.

Elder sister

Hadiatou’s elder sister, who did not finish primary school and has several children. Hadiatou says she wants to stay in school and only get married and have children after she has finished her nursing studies.

Aissatou Issa

Hadiatou with Aissatou Issa, 60, who is the village volunteer who encouraged Hadiatou’s parents to enroll her in school when she was six years old, and then provided continued encouragement to her throughout her studies. Aissatou says that when she was Hadiatou’s age, there were no schools in Yakouta and she was already married.

Preparing for the test-run

Family members help prepare Hadiatou’s bicycle for its test run.

Trying it out

Hadiatou rides down the streets of her village. Next year, she will use her bicycle to go to secondary school in Dori.

Hadiatou Diallo, who received both WFP school meals and take-home rations during her education, was one of the top performing girls in the primary school leaving exam in the Sahel Region of Burkina Faso.