P.P. Filles – Counselling centre for women

IMG_0959P.P.Filles targets socially challenged women and girls, offering them counsel and material assistance. The broad scope of the centre’s activities ranges from educational projects on sexual issues, contraception, HIV-AIDS and female genital mutilation, including counselling for mistreated women, to microcredits for groups of women who want to set up their own small business. In addition P.P. Filles organises discussion groups – an important tool in a society in which women in particular are not accustomed to turning to other people with their problems.

P.P.Filles is an open house to which anyone can come. Matters which go beyond the remit of the centre and referred by the staff to the proper authorities or appropriate bodies. They also work in very close cooperation with the other A.M.P.O. institutions. In this way mistreated women may also be referred to the A.M.P.O. Clinic. Homeless girls may find shelter at MIA-ALMA, undernourished babies are given a chance of survival through the LINDA Project.

DSCF3894Conversely P.P.Filles takes their awareness campaigns to the other A.M.P.O. institutions: the awareness films and group discussions are also of particular benefit to the girls and  boys from the A.M.P.O. Orphanages and MIA-ALMA. P.P.Filles not only conduct their activities on their own premises, they carry their message to schools and neighbourhood districts.

With their CinéMobile they have the means to spread information on the rights of women and girls in the more remote areas of the country. CinéMobile is a cinema on wheels and using its own generator it can even set up screenings in places without electricity. Each year a different region in Burkina Faso is selected for the awareness projects of the mobile  cinema. With packed audiences the film is followed by a round of discussion. Of course men are also welcome to attend these events, because the effective implementation of the rights of women and girls can only be possible with the inclusion of men. Explaining their rights to women can only help to a limited extent as long as they are financially dependent  on their husbands.

With this in mind P.P.Filles provides a series of activities to help women earn their own living. One very successful means is to offer microcredits. The  women form small groups of 5-10 people and the members of the group are jointly responsible for the credit the group receives. The amount of credit allocated to each group is small, starting with around USD 40 up to a maximum of USD 80 at a minimal interest rate of 5 %. Such sums may appear to be insignificant but they still help the women to set up a small business. Some start by selling cooked rice, others work as hairdressers or trade fabrics. This gives the women the opportunity to start up a small-scale business and thus provide for their families. They are jointly responsible for coping with illness-related absences from work. Every year we are able to grant microcredits to as many as 500 women with a payback rate of a remarkable 98 %!