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“I Choose School”

Early pregnancy forces many girls in Burkina Faso to drop out of school. Because of you, Adeline is not one of them.

Sixteen-year-old Adeline* still remembers her sister’s hushed instructions: We will go to the clinic at five o’clock, after school. Wear long sleeves.

After seeing other girls her age drop out of school because they’d gotten pregnant, Adeline was worried. She wondered, Am I going to finish school? How am I going to avoid pregnancy?

That’s when her older sister told her the clinic could help. “She asked me if I wanted to get contraception.”

Adeline said yes, and they traveled together down the dirt road to the clinic. They kept the visit a secret from everyone except their mother. Adeline was nervous, but she felt confident about her choice.

“I don’t want to be pregnant yet,” she says. Adeline is shy and soft-spoken, but her voice doesn’t waver. “I am not ready.”

As a Pathfinder, you know that every woman should be able to make the choices she wants. For girls like Adeline who want to wait until they’ve finished school to get pregnant, contraception can change everything. But in her village in Burkina Faso—and in many other communities like hers—girls are often afraid or unable to access the methods they want. “Some people think using family planning is a bad thing, that it means you are a bad girl,” Adeline explains. “But I think it is a good thing.” Worldwide, 23 million adolescents want to avoid pregnancy but aren’t using an effective form of contraception. You’re changing that number, starting with girls like Adeline.

At the clinic, Adeline chose a long-acting reversible contraceptive implant from a full range of contraceptive methods, and the midwife inserted the matchstick-sized rod into her arm. Her long sleeves hid the tiny mark—and her choice remained a secret.

Adeline’s clinic in Burkina Faso

Today, she has made another choice: to tell you her story. “I am no longer afraid of how my life is going to be,” Adeline says. “Now my mind is focused on my studies. I want to become a nurse, because I’d love to help other young girls get access to family planning.”

She smiles. “This is what I will tell them. Family planning can help you make your dream. You don’t have to be afraid.

*Name has been changed.


  • In Burkina Faso alone, Pathfinder’s programs support 83 clinics in providing contraception. With every added clinic, more women can access the methods they want.
  • We’ve provided more than 44,000 contraceptives to women who want them.
  • Over 30% of all contraceptives distributed were long-acting or permanent methods. That means a long-term difference for women and girls.

Support from Pathfinders around the world changes lives for girls like Adeline every day. Make a gift to help girls in Burkina Faso and beyond access the choices they want.


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