When I left The Netherlands early January, the nature was a few weeks early for the season due to the warm winter. In Burkina it is the contrary. The rainy season came late, finished late and the cold months also started late. The trees are blooming a couple week late.

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Breakfast: yoghurt and papaya

Education in Burkina

I already mentioned that the education system in Burkina was not good. In order to get as much funds as possible from large institutions (World Bank, IMF, EE), quantity is the priority without looking at quality.

I made some analysis of the situation in rural areas. From 200 children starting the primary school, only 1 will get the exam of the end of secondary studies (Baccalaureate). This is the result after 13 years’ study.

A lot of children are dropped along those 13 years without real education. Those children are in the villages doing very little, going to town at the mercy of bad people, going to Ivory Coast or going to look for gold. Not a positive situation.

We are trying to find a non-formal education program which can help those young people to find an activity.

Goats story

In Burkina the goats are all over the place in the villages. They are attached only during the rainy season to prevent them to go destroy the plantation of the farmers. The village of Oualana is not too far from our LAP. We have been able to prevent large cattle to enter the LAP ground, but we not for the small ruminants.

Goats like to come eat the young trees we have planted. We have asked the villagers to take care of this without success. I send a message to the village: goats coming onto the LAP will be caught and we will use them in the meals of the students.

Before going to this, we had a meeting with the villagers last week. I was surprised to see a large number of men at this meeting. Probably the larger number of men in a meeting I have seen since we started working here. The goats do matters!!!!

The conclusion of the meeting is that they will not do anything and that it is our problem to stop the goats to come onto our ground. There is probably more than a goat problem between the LAP and the villagers. We have to investigate from where comes their frustration.

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LAP news

On Friday I was going around the foyer of the boys and noticed that the new refectory was really dirty. I told the boys that I would be coming back on Sunday to check at their dormitories and at the refectory. I guess my message was clear enough. Everything was organized and clean.

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Activities during dry season

Men in the villages have little to do for a good 4 months during the dry season. In some village they are trying to find some generating activities for this period. One of those activities is gardening. The need for this activity is water. In the village of Nefrelaye a water well 130 meters deep had to be drilled and a rather expensive system put in place so that the villagers have access to the water. In the village of Fina there is a water spring. Last year there was only one farmer cultivating along the stream. This year at least 10 of them have been working there. It looks like making a dyke would help water supply and in turn the area which can be used.

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Proverbs of the week

Quand une souris, face au chat tient à dire au revoir au chien avant de le rejoindre, c’est qu’elle a tout compris.
When a mouse, facing the cat wants to say goodbye to the dog before joining him, he has understood everything.

Pour rien, certains vous aiment et pour un rien, d’autres vous haïssent.
For nothing, people like you and for nothing, others hate you.

Have a good week.

Hervé

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