You remember that Hortense had surgery last Sunday. It went fine and she was back home on Tuesday. Unfortunately she had to get back to the clinic where she is until today. Pus was still coming out of the wound and she had to be put on perfusion again. This was not very positive. On the other hand, she started to eat again and did not have nausea anymore. Eugénie does not trust the nurses there and she makes frequent trips to the clinic to give Hortense her antibiotic medication. The pus volume is decreasing.  I went to see her today. She looks much better and might be able to come home on Monday. Let’s still keep our fingers cross or pray (whatever works for you).

You might recall that in July we had a story about thevillageofMogobasso. The men did not want to reimburse their loans. It was mainly a case of bad will and bad leadership. We decided to close the nursery school in this village. We had been waiting until last week to finally receive a signed list of who owes what. It had taken the men of the village more than 6 months to produce the list. He had also taken a lot of courage of the women in the village.

The list of debtors will be used to collect directly from these farmers or by using the local police chief.

So this week was a happy one in Mogobasso for the women since we are opening the nursery school again. We drove by the village on Tuesday and they were cleaning the school to receive all the material for the school back again.

Tuesday and Thursday we had meeting on village organisation in Sokourani and Bona.

In Sokourani we had to wait almost one hour before we could start. There is lack of motivation to participate in villagers gatherings. Normally when we come there are a lot of people. Even so we had to wait, a lot of people came in the end. Local leaders used our meeting to express their frustration. It started by the village chief Martin. He spend almost 15 minutes telling the villagers what he thought, then encouraged by this, it was the turn of the president of the parents association of the primary school. He also went on for at least 20 minutes. Not much of an atmosphere for appreciative inquiry!

However when this was done, people participated very well in our discussion about communication, development plan and change of mentality.

Then something very rare happened. We were asking the women if they had something to say. A woman stood up and started to talk very angrily to the men it went on and on and the men were very surprised, so were we. Women never addressed the men in public. She was complaining that because of them they had missed the opportunity to have a nursery school (it was true) and that they had no consideration for their family. This was big. She sat down and then another woman stood up in the back and insisted on what the first one had said. Women empowerment? I just hope there was no beating when they came back home….

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Martin telling the villagers what he thinks of them   

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President of the parents association doing the same

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Women telling the men what they think of them

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Women telling the men what they think of them

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Women attentive to the speeches

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Happy woman

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Arrival in Bona with school children in the background

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Kid from Bona

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Some of the people in Bona

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With the container came a mini bus given by Bertrand in France.
We used the bus to go to Bona since we were 9 people for this trip

Saturday there was a meeting of Burkinakarité. We had invited the 3 delegates of the 5 villages taking part in this organization in Bobo. As I mentioned in a previous message, they have produced 42.000 kg of shea butter this year. Now we have to find customers for it.

Without ASAP Burkinakarité would not exist. The women of Burkinakarité produced the butter, but all the logistic, the filtration the selling of the butter is still done by us. In the same way that we are developing the concept of a social business for agriculture, we are developing the concept of a “maison du développement de la femme” (House of women’s development). We have seen through many projects that women can really work together. However they will only work together if, by doing so, they will get more money than otherwise. Money is the first reason even if they find it also nice to work together. By starting this business, it can be opened to more associations in order to have the volume needed to hire people of a good level.

The first contact with this concept was very well received and they understood immediately the positive sides of it: less uncertainty on the amount paid for their butter and when it would be paid. The plan is also to produce soap which can be resold by the women (extra income) or used by them (for better hygiene).

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Meeting of Burkinakarité (14 women and 8 kids!)

This week we have been also picking up the bags of corn that farmers have to pay us back for the fertilizer and certified seeds we have loaned them. Price of corn is getting higher here, but nothing compared to what you can see on the futures market. Speculation on food prices should be forbidden.

I heard something this week on the radio which you might have already realized: marketing / advertisement wants to make you unhappy. If you are happy you do not look for something to make you happy. You have to desire something so that you can buy it. So they have to make you unhappy. I believe it is true. Let’s be happy to control what we consume. How? May be it would be first to watch less TV or internet adds…. Can we control this?

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Some bougainvill
eas in our garden in Bobo

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Some bougainvilleas in our garden in Bobo

I wish you all a very good week.

Amitiés, Hervé

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