Today is the international women’s day. While it is very much celebrated in Africa, there are very few celebrations in the developing world. The celebrations in Africa have become a commercial affair more than to advance towards equality of gender. At least one day in the year there is a reminder that women should be celebrated.

Athletic competition by LAP students

At the beginning of school year 2019-2020, the LAP registered to participate in the secondary schools athletic competition.

The first step was to make a selection of the students at the LAP based on performances. Only volunteer students participated. Eleven of them (6 boys and 5 girls) qualified for various races (80 meters, 100 meters, 800 meters and 1.500 meters).

The next step happened last Sunday when the 11 students came to Bobo Dioulasso to compete against other students of the Province. Out of the 11, 8 qualified (6 boys and 2 girls) for the next step which will be next Sunday. It will be a competition opened to the students of the Region. Then maybe some students will qualify to compete in Ouagadougou for the national title.

Start of the 80 meters race

Nathalie during her 800 meters and below first and second place for Seydou and Baba in the 100 meters

To control the race, there is a group of people on the left side with chronometers. Each of them  measures the time of one lane. On the right side the other group of people have also a line assigned to them. They have to look at what place the runner of their lane finishes then they go to them and place them by order before going to the registering table.

A lot of the students at the LAP were looking at this activity as additional work since it involves training. Many did not volunteer. Now that they have seen that selected students are going to “town” I am sure we will have many more volunteers next year.

Increase in proteins in the primary school lunch program by empowering the pupils

We have been providing rice, oil and salt to primary schools for the lunch program at primary schools. Parents have to provide about 3.5 kg of black eyed peas. This happens only if we have the funds for the lunch program.

Thanks to the funding of Luxembourg Development we will be setting up a program which empowers the pupils for part of the lunch program and increase its protein content.

The plan is to give each pupil 1kg of certified seeds of local beans and 100 ml of neem oil for treatment against insects. The seeds will have to be sowed by the pupils on a surface of 1/16 Ha with the help of his parents. The harvest for this small field should bring between 40 and 65 kg of beans depending on the quality of the ground.

From his harvest the pupil has to bring 25 kg to the school. Out of the 25kg, 15 kg are for the lunch program and the remaining 10kg are sold to have funds to buy seeds, neem oil and take care of the logistic for the following year. We also provide plastic containers to protect the beans against insects.

This means that there will be 4 times more beans available for the lunch, so 4 times more proteins.

If there is no rice and no oil, there is still 80gr of beans available per school day for the lunch. Not much, but better than nothing.

The plan is nice, but the implementation is not easy. It needs a lot of discussion with the parents associations. We have already presented the project in 7 schools and we still have 5 to go.

One important factor for the success of the program will be the motivation of the primary school teachers.

Sayings of the week

For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Nature is an infinite sphere of which the centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere. Blaise Pascal

Take good care of your health,

Hervé

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