please join me in helping give young people in burkina faso prospects for the future. i am very grateful!
in november 2008, bea petri, commissioned by the famous swiss development organisation swisscontact, spent four weeks at the existing tailor’s workshop “nas mode” in ouagadougou, the capital of burkina faso. swisscontact is funded by the swiss economy and has been dedicated exclusively to imparting professional vocational knowledge in developing countries for over fifty years. swisscontact trainers work on a voluntary basis and are only compensated for travel and expenses. in this case, too, the goal was an intensive professional transfer of expertise in the areas of cosmetics and make-up for theatre, film and tv productions. burkina faso is considered the centre of african filmmaking, and ouagadougou hosts the biggest african film festival, fespaco, every two years.
burkina faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and lies on the southern edge of the sahel zone. almost 20 million residents are spread across this landlocked country, which is about seven times the size of switzerland. there is unemployment of over 70% and literacy levels are around 36%. export goods consist of handicrafts and very modest agricultural products such as cotton, butter and peanuts. gold is also mined under dreadful conditions, but the earnings primarily benefit foreign companies that have secured long-term claims, most of it through bribing.
training centre “nas mode”
the dedicated burkinabée safi ouattara diallo has been running a professional dressmaking school under the name “nas mode” since 2001. safi asked swisscontact for a professional person able to pass on and teach urgently needed cosmetic and mask technical know-how, as “nas mode” was also involved in film and theatre productions. demand led to bea petri being transferred by swisscontact to the then modest “nas mode” training centre.
safi ouattara diallo’s wish was for bea petri to provide training as a make-up artist in addition to tailor-made courses, training for budding beauticians as well as part-time training.
the existing venue and the enthusiasm of the headmistress safi ouattara diallo were at her disposal. the initial situation was very rudimentary and required a lot of patience and improvisation. the path to becoming a make-up artist would logically start off by training as a beautician, and it would be sensible to also include additional training as a hairdresser.
it quickly became clear that the existing space available for the new courses was too small. therefore, bea petri rented a structurally integrated neighbouring property from her own resources and renovated it on her first stay.
national television: after the first training course that bea petri taught, “nas mode” was able to offer the new competences to national television, among others. this client gladly made use of it and instead of paying wages – for which no money was available. They have been broadcasting regular advertising spots for the “nas mode” school since.
trampolin: “nas mode” has been offering its professional services to the local population in the city centre of ouagadougou since 2017. young graduates can make their training in the fields of cosmetics, coiffure and tailoring available and gain practical and entrepreneurial experience with their customers.
committed to sustainability
the project has the clear goal of providing young people with work and life prospects through providing a solid education. in this aspect, it differs from other aid programmes, which focus mostly on the humanitarian, medical and agricultural fields and are of an auxiliary rather than educational nature. for bea petri and safi ouattara diallo, learning a profession is the most important thing for young people, who can thus ensure their own future prospects.
the courses take care to ensure that, as far as possible, no dependencies on imports of energy or other raw materials are created. choosing environmentally friendly and local products is therefore a matter of course.
the training of women is a high priority in all sustainable projects in developing countries. it helps the female population to achieve a better position in society and makes use of the reliability and strong sense of responsibility of women for positive social development. we also support this training with information on social and health issues such as family planning, aids, circumcision, witch hunts, etc.
selection criteria for our graduates
since founding “nas mode”, we attach great importance to transparent and sound criteria for the allocation of training places and personally consider the seriousness and sincerity of each individual application. thanks to the training credits of the association that sponsors “nas mode”, talented young people without their own means can also be accepted.
around 80% of all graduates of “nas mode” courses carry on to work actively in their specialist fields. with this, we make a very high contribution to making meaningful life plans come true and to the widespread lack of prospects. last but not least, it is intended to contribute to combatting the extensive need to emigrate, which is primarily based on almost non-existent opportunities for personal development.
new training centre and long-term goal
in 2013, a new training centre with a completely new infrastructure was opened on the outskirts of ouagadougou. various occupation-specific studios, bedrooms, a canteen, a childcare facility, toilets and showers as well as a sports field and offices were made available on a beautiful, private terrain with potable water. thanks to this environment, 200 young people between the ages of 14 and 25 have found a beautiful and safe environment in which one of their desired occupations can be studied in peace and with concentration. about 70 pupils are funded by the “nas mode” funding association annually. the other students have the means to pay for their own training. our commitment from switzerland should continue to this extent and, in addition to the training places, also ensure the maintenance of the infrastructure.
i would like to express my heartfelt thanks also to the donors for the generous financial support with which we were able to build this extraordinary school. the beautiful building was constructed by the architect lasso ouattara, safi’s husband. we received an award from burkina faso for the quality of training and construction. all our professional attention is focused on assuring and developing our training standards – we want to remain a flagship school for the whole country.
with her reliability, her valuable network and her comprehensive, modern approach, safi ouattara diallo guarantees the success of any project. regular visits by bea petri to ouagadougou and visits by the school management to educational events in switzerland guarantee continuous development. the presence of safi ouattara diallo in switzerland also provides lenders with direct contact with the people in charge.
a festive africa soiree takes place in switzerland every year. at this event, we show what has been done with donations.
in 2016, we started issuing repayable microcredits. however, we do not provide them in the form of money but with products and tools that allow the applicant to open their own studio or shop (see charlotte movie).
with chf 500/year, one year of education is financed – a three-year training programme costs chf 1’500.
with chf 1’500/year, additional costs and logistics can also be covered (training opportunity for foreigners).
of course, we are grateful for any amount and appreciate your generosity as well as the support.
how the funds are used
- funds deposited go directly to the project without deductions
- social events related to the project are funded separately
- all association bodies work on a voluntary basis
- travel expenses (flights, accommodation, meals) are borne by the persons involved or are financed separately
tax exemption for contributions
in accordance with article 60 et seq. zgb (swiss civil code), the non-profit “nas mode fashion association” is registered in schaffhausen. contributions to the association “nas mode” are tax-exempt.
aros treuhand ag
mr andre ott audits the association’s account in a voluntary capacity.
concluding throughts from bea petri
the “nas mode” project is primarily due to my meeting with safi ouattara diallo. the one-month mission quickly showed me that a lasting impact can only be achieved through long-term commitment and heart and soul. the young women and men in this african country deserve our attention and support because they are ready to take their lives and their future into their own hands. however, they often lack the basic skills necessary to survive economically in a modern society. safi ouattara diallo has also shown me that positive development requires an enlightened attitude towards social issues.
i have committed myself to the people of ouagadougou, to accompany them on their way and to be involved. for that, i depend on the support of other circles that share my trust in a better future for young africans.
i thank you for your attention!
the burkina faso ministry responsible has presented safi ouattara and bea petri with an award for their professional training concepts and for the high quality and functionality of the new infrastructure. we are very pleased and can assure you that your donation will support our organisation, which is known for its reliability and transparency. i am only able to keep this wonderful project going with your support.