I am back in The Netherlands since a week. It always takes a couple of days to adjust after 2 months in Burkina Faso.
In Burkina prices of most goods are going up. This is certainly true for food products and for construction material. There is no obvious reason for these increases. A lot is blamed on the COVID pandemic!!!
Since salaries are remaining the same, people have a tough time to balance their budget. If the government does not do something, people might not stay quiet.
Updates for the LAP
With 75% success rate for the 4th year students, and 88% for the 6th year we are pretty proud of our students.
We should also add that 24 out of 24 students of the 7th year successfully got their driving license.
The challenge now is to get better results next school year. For this we have appointed a new director and recruited a new headmaster. We will also have a new French teacher and a PE teacher.
In the new school year at the LAP we will have 21 permanent staff for 319 students.
APPA is the association which implements and follows up on the development projects in the villages. It has also started the production and sale of shea butter soaps, honey and a seasoning called soumbala. All the raw materials for these products are coming from our villages (shea butter, raw honey and locust beans).
This activity has been developing nicely and it was time to split it from the development projects in the villages to avoid to be taxed on subsidies received for projects.
APPA remains the entity which implements and follows up on development projects in 12 villages.
The other entity taking over the production and sales of products is called SCOOPS VPMD (Société Coopérative Simplifiée pour la Valorisation du Miel et de ses Dérivés). Not simple…
In order to be able to apply for funds for a beekeeping project funded by the World Bank, we also needed to have a split between the 2 activities.
If granted this new project will bring 1.650 new hives for the villagers. This amount of hives more than double the number we have already in the villages.
Beekeepers had also to be united in cooperatives. This was not an easy tasks to explain the reason to the villagers and to get all the documents needed to register the SCOOPS.
The soaps, the honey and the soumbala produced by APPA all got the ABnorm (a local certification for quality products).
Odile went to Ouagadougou to receive the certificate from the hands of the ministry of commerce.
Some conclusions about this trip
The projects we are looking at for the LAP, for APPA and for SCOOPS VPMD are getting bigger and bigger.
This puts some strain on our young local team. We will need to recruit some new middle management personnel to support this growth. At the LAP we will recruit a new headmaster and for APPA we will recruit a production manager.
Another aspect is regarding procedures. It is not too difficult to write them, but to have them implemented and controlled is not an easy task. We will need to do a lot of training to make sure people understand the need of the procedures.
Quotes of the week
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” -Benjamin Franklin
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
My next trip to Burkina should be end of September.
Hope you will have a nice summer.