Project Burkinabé:
the suitcases of knowledge

An innovative teaching method from France

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an illiteracy rate of 70%. How do you go about teaching reading and writing when there are no schools, and the people struggle to even secure a daily meal?

We are collaborating on a beautiful project developed through the French cooperation.

The malles du savoir – or “suitcases of knowledge” – can be loaded onto a 4×4 or even onto a donkey to cross a river, and create a school under a tree in any African village.

The suitcases contain educational materials to teach three crucial areas of knowledge in those countries in a manner that promotes experience and participation: the body (contraception, disease, hygiene, physiology), water management (how to filter it and how not to pollute the aquifers), and soil (how to cultivate and protect the land).

The project members have taken the “suitcases of knowledge” around the country, even to the furthest, most isolated and remote places.

Franca Fabbri, Andrea Bocconi and Samia Coupat, one of our French staff involved in creating the suitcases, supported the project with care and travelled to the country personally, on several occasions, to concretely demonstrate Verso’s support and train the teachers.

We also created a school with a vegetable garden and a small farm, where the concrete results of our teaching could be shown. Over six years, we have provided for 385 children who were outside of the state school system and trained four local teachers. Unfortunately however, with the 2015 coup, the school that we gave to the community and hoped to endure as an example, was plundered and abandoned. We have learned many lessons from the mistakes made.


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