Please join me in helping give young people in Burkina Faso prospects for the future. I am very grateful!
Warm regards, Bea Petri
In November 2008, Bea Petri, commissioned by the renowned Swiss development organization Swisscontact, spent four weeks at the established tailor's workshop "Nas Mode" in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Swisscontact is supported by the Swiss economy and has been exclusively devoted to providing professional vocational knowledge in developing countries for over fifty years. Swisscontact trainers volunteer their expertise and are solely reimbursed for travel and expenses. In this instance as well, the objective was an intensive professional knowledge transfer in the domains of cosmetics and makeup for theatre, film, and TV productions. Burkina Faso is recognized as a hub for African filmmaking, and Ouagadougou hosts the largest 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.
The dedicated Burkinabé Safi Ouattara Diallo has been running a professional dressmaking school under the name "Nas Mode" since 2001. Safi asked Swisscontact for a professional individual capable of imparting and teaching 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 center.
Safi Ouattara Diallo's wish was for Bea Petri to provide training as a make-up artist, in addition to tailor-made courses for budding beauticians and 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 logically started with training as a beautician, and it was 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 neighboring property from her own resources and renovated it during 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 these services and instead of paying wages – for which no money was available – they started broadcasting regular advertising spots for the "Nas Mode" school.
Trampolin: "Nas Mode" has been offering its professional services to the local population in the city center 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's clear goal is to provide young people with work and life prospects through a solid education. In this aspect, it differentiates itself from other aid programs, which mainly focus on humanitarian, medical, and agricultural fields and are of an auxiliary nature rather than educational. For Bea Petri and Safi Ouattara Diallo, learning a profession is of utmost importance for young individuals, enabling them to secure 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."
Training women is a high priority in all sustainable projects in developing countries. This approach assists the female population in achieving a better position in society, utilizing the reliability and strong sense of responsibility of women for positive social development. Additionally, we provide support for this training by offering information on social and health issues such as family planning, AIDS, circumcision, witch hunts, and more.
Selection Criteria for Graduates
Since the establishment of "Nas Mode," we place significant emphasis on transparent and sound criteria for allocating training opportunities. We personally evaluate the seriousness and sincerity of each individual application. Thanks to training credits from the association that sponsors "Nas Mode," talented young people without their own means can also be accepted.
Approximately 80% of all graduates from "Nas Mode" courses actively pursue careers in their specialized fields. This high success rate significantly contributes to realizing meaningful life plans and addressing the widespread lack of prospects. Ultimately, the goal is to combat extensive emigration driven by the lack of 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 to study one of their desired occupations in peace and with concentration. About 70 pupils are funded annually by the "Nas Mode" funding association. 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 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, valuable network, and 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 ensure continuous development. The presence of Safi Ouattara Diallo in Switzerland also offers lenders direct contact with the responsible individuals.
An annual festive Africa Soirée is held in Switzerland. During this event, we showcase the accomplishments made possible through 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 program 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 articles 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB), the non-profit "Nas Mode Fashion Association" is registered in Schaffhausen. Contributions to the association "Nas Mode" are tax-exempt.
Aros Treuhand AG
Mr. André Ott audits the association's accounts in a voluntary capacity.
Concluding thoughts from Bea Petri.
The "Nas Mode" project owes its existence primarily to my encounter with Safi Ouattara Diallo. The one-month mission quickly made it evident that lasting impact can only be achieved through long-term dedication and wholehearted involvement. The young women and men in this African country deserve our attention and support because they are eager to take control of their lives and shape their own futures. Yet, they often lack the fundamental skills required to thrive economically in a modern society. Safi Ouattara Diallo has also demonstrated that positive development necessitates an enlightened approach to social issues.
I have committed myself to the people of Ouagadougou, pledging to walk alongside them on their journey and actively engage. For this, I rely on the support of other communities that share my belief in a brighter future for young Africans.
I extend my gratitude to you for your attention!
The Burkina Faso ministry responsible has honored Safi Ouattara and Bea Petri with an award for their professional training concepts and the exceptional quality and functionality of the new infrastructure. We are greatly delighted by this recognition and want to assure you that your donations will continue to bolster our organization, recognized for its unwavering reliability and transparency. It's with your support that I can sustain this remarkable project and its positive impact.