9 October 2016
The rainy season has stopped. Since over a week we had no rain in Bobo, in some other areas there were no rains since 2 or 3 weeks. Some of the crops still need a few rains such as sesame. Let’s hope they will come.
Visit to the village of Sidi 2
This week we went to visit another new village called Sidi 2. Why Sidi 2? Because there is a Sidi 1. Actually we believe that some of the families who had started the village of Sidi, went away and started a new village a few km away from the original one. Often it is because of dispute linked to land ownership, over money or women.
We were surprised to see that almost all the front school benches were occupied by women, the men being in the back or on the side.
There are around 1.600 inhabitants very spread out. As in the village of Fon, visited the week before, the larger ethnical group is the Toussian, but there are at least 8 other ethnical groups in this village. The primary school has only 3 classes and they have around 180 students. By building an additional 3 classes, we can expect at least 300 kids at school. The other major problem of the villages is access to clean water. The spread of the village does not make it easy to find a proper solution. They have 3 water wells.
Some women of Sidi
Meeting with women in Bobo Dioulasso
We had a meeting with 55 women from 9 villages. The first day of the meeting was dedicated to projects for women in the villages. Microcredit is still the project with the biggest interest by the women. We have now over 2.500 women with a credit of an average of 35 euro each. One of the last projects we developed was an improved metallic oven for the cooking. We have already distributed over 200 of them and we have new list for the same amount. The women can buy it cash or they can add it to their microcredit.
On the second day the main topics were how does an association work and the presentation of the kits for menstrual protection for the women. Before the presentation of the kits Eugénie and Odile gave a sexual education lecture. Definitely the more interesting topic as far as the women were concerned.
Most of our projects today are linked with women. Most of the projects with men fail, but most of the projects with women work.
As you have seen Odile is expecting a child at the end of October. Since the beginning of the month, we have contracted Line (picture below) to take over the role of Odile versus the villages.
Strike and strike
As explained in a previous blog, Burkina has copied the French habit of striking for any reason.
The ministry of education is trying to merge the primary schools with the first 4 years of secondary schooling. Stupid idea from my point of view, but since there are funds allowed by the world bank to this, let’s not discuss it and spend the money.
In business it is not easy to merge two cultures, imagine in this case where no attention is given to the primary school people and where the secondary school people (thinking they are superior) want to dominate and take all the good posts = strike of the primary school management people.
The second example of the past weeks is the national telephone company Onatel. It has been bought by a Moroccan company. They have brought managers and technical people from Morocco. A few months ago the local people have gotten insights into the salary grids of those expatriates. The salaries are much higher than the local ones. At least 3 times! The Moroccan telephone company president made an appointment with the unions at which he did not show up = strike for 3 weeks. At the end of the 3 weeks there were no credit to be bought for this network and internet was coming and going. Since banks use a lot of internet capacity for their transactions, it was a big mess at the end of the month for the payment of the civil servants and also for private companies.
Results: a penalty form the government of 750.000.000 euro. I am not sure what the local workers achieved.
Proverb of the week
The young bird does not sing until it hears the old ones. – Tswana proverb
Le jeune oiseau ne chante pas jusqu’à ce qu’il entend les oiseaux adultes. – Tswana proverbe
Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs. – African proverb
Les oiseaux ne chantent pas parce qu’ils ont des réponses, mais parce qu’ils ont des chansons. – Proverbe africain
Until next week.