For technical reasons, the blog of last week will come to you at the same time that this week’s blog. My apologies for that. At the end of last week’s blog, I asked you a question. It will be answered next week.
The rainy season is not yet “installed” in Burkina. Rains come about once every week only, when it should be at least once every 3 days. Farmers are a bit worried. Since farmers are always worried, let’s wait. The sky is overcast this morning, so the rain might come today?
Yesterday there was a demonstration in Ouagadougou against the creation of a Senate. Today there is only one chamber in Burkina. In March they voted a law to create a second one. The demonstrators think that this is a trick from the president. The Senate creation will need a change in the constitution and they believe that the President will use it to also change the article, which makes that you can be only elected twice.
This chamber will also be a place to put all the political people who do not have a place elsewhere. It will also be an additional expense for the country. In Senegal they have just done the opposite. The Senate was dissolved because of this ineffectiveness and costs.
Last Sunday I attended the year-end ceremony of the nursery school of Kofila. Parents came late as in the other villages the previous week. The program was almost the same: songs, poems, dances from the 5/6 year old children.
Nursery schools in the villages are for one year for children of 5 years old. The persons in charge are people from one of our villages. They have successfully got their diploma after 4 years of secondary school. We have sent them for a 2 years training in a school, teaching them about care and education of small children. These people in charge are supported by 2 or 3 “little mothers”. Those are from the village where the nursery school is located, they can speak French and they receive a 4 months training in Bobo Dioulasso.
The awakening of the children, the improvement of health and hygiene are the main results we have noticed so far.
On Friday we had a meeting with the nursery school directors to discuss about the results of the past year and to plan the coming year. We took advantage to collect the information about the school expenses in the year. The school funds come from the parents school fees and form a subsidy from ASAP /APP.
Below some data on those costs and comparison between schools. All costs are in euro.
On Wednesday, we had the visit at the LAP of the adviser in Burkina for the development projects funded by the Monaco government. They are checking out if we can apply for funding for the LAP. It was a good visit and we will send an application for funding of some infrastructure by the end of the year. The funds will be for construction of classrooms, dormitories and teachers house in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Monaco’s technical advisor (orange dress) talking to Gnoumou (LAP director).
In front of her (from left to right) Solange (girls compound director), Emmanuel (ASAP BF director), Macaire (agronomy teacher) and Mme Ram (assistant to Solange)
On Wednesday, the students were making hoes to plant 120 neem trees and 25 tamarind trees. The trees were brought in on Saturday and planted the same day. Neem leaves and pods can be used as pesticides and from the tamarind fruits we can make juice.
Solange (right) with LAP students
On Saturday it was the parents meeting at the LAP for the end of the year 2012-2013. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were about 110 parents attending (there are 135 students). This is a very strong participation. I know that we give them food after the meeting, but this does not explain this strong participation. There were only 4 mothers in the group. They all expressed appreciation about what children are learning at school. I asked some parents of the second year students how was their attitude last year during the vacation. They all say that the children had no problem to help their father in the fields during the vacation, but that they were also doing a much better job than the other children (efficient and quality work).
Parents and children in front of the class rooms.
|Parents during the meeting||Parents having lunch|
While we were discussing inside the dining hall, we heard a song coming from the dormitories. The girls were singing a song of “au revoir” to each other. We all got goose bumps. I still have some in writing this.
Girls going home for vacation with all their belongings.
|Egg plants from the students garden||The 7 piglets sleeping on each other|
Since Wednesday, we have 2 French girls who are with us to look at we are doing and trying to help us on the legal side (they are law students). The father of Faustine is sponsoring Rokia Millogo. An occasion for them to meet.
Faustine and Rokia
Proverb of the week:
« Quand on a un marteau dans la tête, on voit tous les problèmes sous la forme d’un clou. »
“When you have a hammer in your head, you see every problem as a nail.”