Forty-six percent of the population of Burkina Faso falls below the age of 15, making its population one of the youngest in the world. Four out of five 10–14-year-old rural females are out of school, and adolescent girls find few economic opportunities in Burkina Faso’s rural areas. Living apart from families and working in an occupation that takes place behind closed doors, migrant domestic workers are at risk of sexual and economic exploitation. Furthermore, arduous work schedules leave little time for schooling, building social networks, and developing necessary skills for adulthood.
In response to this situation, the Population Council designed an intervention in urban Burkina Faso to increase migrant domestic workers’ social capital; build their life skills as well as skills in health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive health, and financial capabilities with an option to re-enter school; and link them to services in their new surroundings. Known as Filles Éveillées (Girls Awakened), this intervention provides migrant adolescent girls in domestic service with a safe space to meet regularly, access to peers, and a female mentor. The intervention takes place over an eight-month period when migrant adolescent girls reportedly live and work in urban areas.
The 2011–2013 pilot program reached 375 girls over two cycles: in 2011–2012 the intervention took place in Bobo Dioulasso (the second largest city in Burkina), and informative research conducted in 2010 revealed that girls’ migration is seasonal and corresponds with the dry season as girls return home each year during the rainy season to help with agricultural tasks. A pre- and post-test design was used to evaluate the Filles Éveillées program by assessing changes in participating girls’ social capital as well as knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in key program areas. Results from the first cohort are described elsewhere. This report adds to the program evaluation by measuring changes in girls participating in the second cohort from 2012–2013.