This new trip to Burkina will be for 6 weeks. It will be a very intensive trip since large projects are starting up and since we have also new personnel starting in Burkina.
Let's start with ASAP in Bobo Dioulasso. Since the 26th of September, Emmanuel Sam is our new manager in Burkina. Désiré will be working with him. Together with Elza (secretary), Symphorien (driver) Jacques and Boro (guards) they form the team in Bobo Dioulasso.
Tomorrow 3rd October will be the start of the LAP (Lycée Agricole Privé) with 70 children (37 girls and 33 boys). This school is from ASAP and has a director Menohuan Gnoumou and one permanent teacher Macaire. The other teachers are part time. In addition to the teachers, we have recruited one night guard, one handy man and 2 cooks.
Now we come to the social businesses. A new association called Yiriwali So (house for development) has been started. Alain Balthazar (Belgium) is the manager of this social business centre. We are also registering a company called Sene Yiriwali So (house for development of agriculture). The manager of this company is Karim Yéré and he has with him 2 farmers and 3 seasonal workers.
This are a lot of names. Hope this is not too confusing. In a few word, we have now two organisations in Burkina ASAP (ONG) which take care of the projects we are use too: school, scholarship, lunch program, health projects, organisational projects…. ad Yiriwali So ( Social businesses centre) which is taking over the economical projects.
End of September is very busy for ASAP in Burkina with the start of the school year. This year even more since we have the new secondary school (LAP) opening as well.
Nursery schools: we have now 5 of them for a total of around 270 children. We had a meeting on Friday with the persons in charge as well as 2 members of the board of the women association controlling the nursery schools. The nursery school of Kofila was opened 6 years ago and the first group of children who have been through this school will be ending the primary school this year. We know that the nursery school give a very strong advantage to the children. We will be able to measure it.
Below are the 5 “monitrices de la petite enfance”or nursery school manager.
Below some of the participant from the women associations.
Primary schools: we do not have information yet on the number of children in the primary schools we are supporting. To help having more children in the school and also to help having smaller classes, we are increasing the capacity of the school in Kofila and in Toungana.
For the selection of children for the LAP and for scholarships for boarding schools, we prepared our own test with a large percentage of logical questions. 231 Children who had successfully end their primary school were given the test.
The schools we are supporting are covered by 2 inspections. For both we offered to help them in teachers training. Only the one of the area of Léna went through the program. Part of the training was on “problem solving” for the teachers of the last 2 years of primary schools. For the state exam in June for the children finishing primary school the Léna area was 8% better than last year, the other area of Satiri was 3% worse.
Teachers prepare their pupils to the state exam, our test was completely new to the children with a lot of logical question. When we compared the results of our tests with the state exam, we found that there was a good match between the points of a children at both tests in the area of Léna, but not at all in the area of Satiri. Since the only difference between the 2 groups was the training we can conclude that in the area of Léna children were taught to think (problem solving) when in the area of Satiri they were taught to learn by heart things they probably do not understand.
Scholarships in Banfora
In June 3 out of 4 children with scholarship got the state exam (BEPC) students pass after 4 years of secondary school. Hortense (the girl who was very thick at the beginning of the year) was the one who did not get it. She had missed more than 2 months of the school year.
We have now 63 children with a scholarship for the boarding school in Banfora (34 girls and 29 boys). This year 19 will try to get the BEPC.
This Sunday we went to visit them. It is every time a pleasure to see them and a bit overwhelming when you see 63 together. We have in banfora 2 tutors for those kids: Mariam for the girls and Karamoko
for the boys.
Some of the 63 students:
Lycée agricole privé (LAP)
As mentioned above we are opening this private agricultural secondary school. It is being built on 31 Hectares of ground given to us by the village of Oualana.
We went to check it out on Wednesday. The 70 selected children are all sponsored by somebody in Europe and all come from the villages we work with. Last week was for the children to get accounted with the school. They got their uniform and went through the does and don'ts of the school.
A few thing still needed to be organised, but I the school look good. Now we have to make it a success.
We are going back there today for the first day of class.
Next time more info about the villages and the social businesses.
When we were getting close to the toll booth going to Banfora, a small motorbike which we had overpassed one minutes before passed us back just at the booth at very high speed. The agent of the booth then say: “la terre n'est pas fini d'abord” (earth is not full yet). I did not understand and Désiré explain to me that it means that there is still room for his grave!!!!!
Have a good week.